The Shiv Sena has suggested that the senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar could become chief minister if he joined hands with major opposition parties as his uncle Sharad Pawar, then a Congressman, had done in 1978 to form the Progressive Democratic Front government.
In a column published on Sunday in the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, executive editor Sanjay Raut said that Ajit should set himself free from the Congress-controlled political situation. “Ajit Pawar should repeat the 1978 experiment in the state to become the chief minister.”
In 1978, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had toppled the Congress government by forging an alliance with the Janata Party.
The suggestion from Sena is significant as Ajit is upset after being denied the post of deputy chief minister by the NCP despite having the support of majority of party MLAs. NCP chose Chhagan Bhujbal as DyCM and is negotiating with the Congress about a power sharing formula.
Since the Congress is adamant on having more ministerial berths, speculations are rife that Ajit may break away from NCP to realise his dream.
In his article Raut says: “Ajit Pawar cannot become CM unless he fights like his uncle (Sharad Pawar). There are no differences between Sharad Pawar and Ajit. It seems as if Ajit is deriving all-needed support from his uncle to create a confusing state of affairs.”
Raut also said that Pawar senior may use Ajit to topple the Congress-led in future.