Sharad Pawar to ‘rethink’ his decision to quit NCP chief’s post, claims nephew Ajit Pawar

Sharad Pawar to "rethink" his decision of quitting the NCP president's post after nephew Ajit Pawar and daughter Supriya Sule requested him.

Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar

Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar

After announcing that he will quit the supremo’s position in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Sharad Pawar reportedly told his daughter Supriya Sule and nephew Ajit Pawar, both leaders of the party, that he may “rethink” the decision and sought time for the same.

“I took my decision because of all of you; I will rethink my decision. But I need two to three days and I will give it a thought only if the workers go home. Some people have been resigning from party posts too. These resignations should stop”, Ajit Pawar quoted Sharad Pawar.

A row was stirred by the senior Pawar (83) after he announced his decision to quit the NCP chief’s position on Tuesday, May 2nd. Several NCP leaders, lawmakers and workers started agitating and many resigned in protest. Sule and Ajit Pawar rushed to meet the octogenarian leader who cited his advancing age as the reason for quitting the post.

“It is time for a new generation to guide the party and the direction it intends to take. I am recommending that a committee of NCP members should be formed to decide on the election of the vacancy in the president’s post”, Pawar reportedly said while announcing his resignation.

The NCP patriarch’s supporters accuse Ajit Pawar’s drifting towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the reason behind Sharad Pawar’s decision to quit the party president’s position. The BJP managed to split the Shiv Sena and topple the NCP-Shiv Sena-Indian National Congress (INC)-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra in 2022.

Ajit Pawar had attempted to support the BJP earlier in 2019, when the latter was unable to form a government in the state due to its ally Shiv Sena’s obstinate demand for the chief minister’s seat. However, Sharad Pawar managed to stitch an alliance with unlikely allies like the Shiv Sena and the INC to stop the BJP from gaining power in the state.

Talking to the press, Ajit Pawar said, “After Sharad Pawar’s decision today, we all got emotional and stopped him for hours and demanded him to rethink. Since it was getting late, we asked Sharad Pawar to go home. However, the protest of the workers continued”.

“We told Sharad Pawar that the workers are unhappy. You be the president and appoint a working president. Sharad Pawar listened to us and then asked us to come back here and speak to the workers sitting here”, Ajit Pawar added.

Sharad Pawar co-founded the NCP along with fellow Congressman PA Sangma in the late 1990s opposing Sonia Gandhi’s ascension as INC chief. He opposed a ‘foreigner’ leading the INC. The splinter party managed to build a stronghold in Maharashtra, where Pawar has a large support base. Later, the NCP became an INC ally and a part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which ruled India between 2004 and 2014.

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