NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew took a fresh guard on Tuesday, a day after Chhagan Bhujbal was selected Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, to bat and bowl like a seasoned all-rounder.
In a surprising revelation, Ajit said he was under wrong impression that majority legislators supported him.
“Had I known it in advance, then I would have asked senior leaders not to discuss my name at all,” he said. “The decision was taken in consultation with all. I’m not upset. I will continue to work for my party’s growth.”
Tension prevailed in the NCP camp on Tuesday as a section of the party legislators were not happy with Bhujbal’s appointment. The legislators, including the ministers Sunil Tatkare and Babanrao Pachpute, were keen on Ajit’s appointment. On the other hands, party ministers such as Jayant Patil, Dilip Walse-Patil, Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar and Hasan Mushrif were keen that senior Pawar should take a call on leadership.
There were speculations on Monday that Ajit was angry. He had left the city immediately after legislators meeting.
Ajit clarified he had gone to New Delhi for some personal work. Sources close to him said Ajit met his uncle who advised him on how to go about it.
“Ajitdada saying that he did not enjoy much support is Pawar Senior’s calculated move to put intra-party fighting to rest for the time being. Everybody knows that majority of the 62 MLAs are with him,” said a senior NCP leader requesting anonymity.
A day after, Ajit showed who was in charge. He used his characteristic aggression to launch a scathing attack on the Congress. He asked the ally to mend its ways and give up adamancy on having bigger share in power. He said the NCP would not mind supporting its ally from outside if it was denied better power share in the ensuing government.
“We have 75 legislators (including Independents) and still the Congress is not ready to accept our suggestion. This is not fair,” he said.