NCP crisis: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) patron Sharad Pawar took a U-turn from his ‘Ajit Pawar is our leader remark’ and said that he had not actually expressed any such views, rather it was Supriya Sule who said this.
Reacting to Supriya Sule’s statement, “Ajit Pawar is our leader,” NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “I am not saying that Ajit Pawar is our leader. Supriya Sule had said that. They are like siblings and there is no need to look for a political meaning behind this. I did not say that Ajit Pawar is our leader.”
“This is your (media’s) fault. That was said by Supriya and it also appeared in newspapers. Given the kind of stand he has taken, he is not our leader.”
Earlier, Sharad Pawar denied a split in the party and said that a split happens when a major chunk of the party steps out at the national level. “There is no conflict that he (Ajit Pawar) is our leader, there is no split in NCP. How does a split happen in a party? It happens when a big group separates from the party at the national level. But there is no such situation in NCP today. Yes, some leaders took a different stance but this can’t be called a split. They can do so in a democracy,” said Sharad Pawar in Baramati.
In July, Ajit Pawar and eight other NCP MLAs had joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Maharashtra. He then sworn in as a Deputy Chief Minister of the state along with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis.
However, there are speculation that Ajit Pawar might be willing to join Sharad Pawar’s party again. With the Ajit Pawar group still using Sharad Pawar’s picture on some of its billboards, it is clear that the faction is not confident of winning elections without the support of Sharad Pawar.
Earlier while speaking during an event in Pune on 20 August, the NCP supremo said that some of the party leaders who had switched sides and went with the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP to join the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde)-BJP government were being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“Recently some of our people joined the government saying that they joined hands with the BJP on the issue of development…some of them were under ED investigation…some of them did not want to face investigation,” Sharad Pawar said.
Supriya Sule daughter of Sharad Pawar stood firm on her stand that “there’s no split in the NCP”. “I repeat again that there is no split in NCP. Since the foundation of the party, our national president is Sharad Pawar and our current state president is Jayant Patil. Our nine MLAs and two MPs have taken a different route for which we have already given a notice to Lok Sabha Speaker and Vidhan Sabha Speaker for the disqualification and a reply is awaited,” she said.
Earlier this month, a “secret meeting between senior Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar at a Pune businessman’s residence caused a stir in political circles. Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Jayant Patil was also present. Ajit Pawar later confirmed his presence and cited that he interacted with Sharad Pawar but said that it was a private meeting. Clarifying on the meeting, Sharad Pawar has said, “It was a family meeting with Ajit Pawar. I did not go to the media talking about the meeting.”
(With inputs from ANI)