Nationalist Congress Party’s Member of Parliament, Supriya Sule (38), was on Tuesday inducted into the party’s executive committee.
Daughter of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Supriya was elected as a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament in 2009. The executive committee headed by Pawar is empowered to take all party decisions.
Its 19 members include Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Home Minister R.R. Patil and party spokesperson Govindrao Adik. Pawar’s nephew and state Water Resources Minister, Ajit Pawar, is not part of it.
In Delhi, party spokesman D.P. Tripathi, said: “He [Ajit] has not been marginalised… There was one vacancy and we decided to fill it with a woman,” he said, overlooking the absence of a woman as general secretary or secretary in the list of 23 officebearers.
Tripathi defended Pawar who is facing flak for rising prices and his controversial remarks that he was not an astrologer to predict when prices would fall. “He was quoted out of context,” said he said.
There has been speculation about a rift between Sule and Ajit, although both have denied the same. Party functionaries said Sule’s induction into the executive committee indicated she would be the party’s face in Delhi, while Ajit would handle matters at the state level.
“It is just a technicality, nothing should be read into it, said a party functionary.
The party on Tuesday made history by bringing in two father-daughter pairs — Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule and P.A. Sangma and Agatha Sangma — on the panel.
(Inputs by Saroj Nagi in New Delhi)