Ajit's show of strength in Baramati portends ‘readiness’ to face Pawar | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Ajit's show of strength in Baramati portends ‘readiness’ to face Pawar

Aug 27, 2023 04:50 AM IST

Ajit visited Baramati for the first time after splitting the NCP and joining the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance government as deputy chief minister.

Mumbai: A day after NCP chief Sharad Pawar disowned his rebel nephew, saying the latter would not get another chance to return to his party, Ajit Pawar put up a massive show of strength in Baramati, his assembly constituency and the bastion of the senior Pawar on Saturday.

Ajit Pawar Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra at Barami welcomed by his supporters at various junctions on the road to Baramati town, Maharashtra, India. HT Photo
Ajit Pawar Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra at Barami welcomed by his supporters at various junctions on the road to Baramati town, Maharashtra, India. HT Photo

Ajit visited Baramati for the first time after splitting the NCP and joining the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance government as deputy chief minister. He was given a grand welcome by his supporters who showered flowers on him from earthmovers and adorned him with huge garlands. On the way to the rally, the four-hour long road show by Ajit was a deliberate attempt to show his might and send out the message that the party workers in Baramati were with him. He was accompanied by his wife Sunetra and son Parth.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

Also Read | No second chance to Ajit, says Pawar

Ajit did not speak against his uncle but tried to convince his followers about his actions. “Sometimes, strange decisions have to be taken for the sake of development,” he declared. “There are emotions and there is faith, but some decisions are taken out of compulsion. People will criticise us but the young generation knows that the steps (rebellion) were taken just for Baramatikars.” Ajit also pointed out how the NCP did not attempt to claim the chief ministership although it had two opportunities after the elections in 2004 and 2019.

Ajit, who had criticised Narendra Modi in his previous rallies, attempted to justify his decision to join forces with the BJP by gushing about the prime minister. “PM Modi is a real idol,” he said. “He works hard. Even during festivals, he did not stay home but went to the border to celebrate the festivals with soldiers.”

Also Read | Ajit questions Shinde about Thane hospital deaths; Fadnavis intervenes

An NCP leader said that the recent events were an indication that both Ajit and Pawar had accepted the fact that reconciliation between them and the two factions of the party was not possible. “Although Ajit Pawar has not spoken directly about it, Sharad Pawar has made it clear over the last two days,” he said. “This has come after the questions that were raised regarding the meetings between them and suspicion about their possible reunion. The two factions have cleared the air and stressed that they will fight against each other.”

Pawar in his rally in Kolhapur on Friday had said that Ajit Pawar would not get another chance (to rectify his mistake). On Saturday, at a press conference in the city he said, “A group of leaders or MLAs or a few people does not mean the party. I am the national leader of the party and Jayant Patil is our state leader. Even the rebel group, in their first press conference, had recognised me as the leader of the party, though later they changed their stand. Three months ago (before the split on July 2), the media and people would call us (Pawar and Patil) head of the national and state units, which means the party is ours.”

Pawar, however, indirectly suggested that he would not hold a rally in Baramati, Ajit’s assembly constituency. “I will hold a rally in Pune district (Baramati is part of Pune district) and I have been suggested three places for this. I will choose one of them,” he said. Pawar also said that his party would encourage new faces in the state as future leaders.

Ajit Pawar, along with eight other senior party leaders, was sworn in as a minister in the Shinde-Fadnavis government on July 2. A group of party MLAs are believed to be with him. The rebels had paid visits to Sharad Pawar after the split, followed by a secret meeting between the two Pawars in Pune two weeks ago. This had created confusion about whether the split in the party was with the consent of the senior Pawar and whether the two factions would get together again to align with the BJP.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Surendra P Gangan is Senior Assistant Editor with political bureau of Hindustan Times’ Mumbai Edition. He covers state politics and Maharashtra government’s administrative stories. Reports on the developments in finances, agriculture, social sectors among others.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On