Is NCP's Ajit Pawar sulking?

Updated on Sep 13, 2022 04:44 AM IST

At the national convention on Sunday, Ajit Pawar left the dais when Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil was delivering a speech.

He said that an issue was made out of nothing when he went to the washroom (HT Photo)
He said that an issue was made out of nothing when he went to the washroom (HT Photo)
By, Mumbai

A day after he caused a furore by walking out of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) national convention in Delhi, senior party leader Ajit Pawar on Monday insisted that he was not unhappy. He also said that he had no reason to be upset as the party has made him deputy chief minister and leader of opposition.

At the national convention on Sunday, Ajit Pawar left the dais when Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil was delivering a speech. He chose to leave just before his turn to address the gathering. It led to speculations on whether Ajit Pawar would turn a rebel in the coming days.

For quite some time, the nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar has been locked in a tussle with Jayant Patil and wants him to be replaced as state party chief. Ajit Pawar has also claimed that he was not supposed to address the gathering as he has never done so in the past. “In 1991, I was elected as a member of parliament for the first time. Since then in the last 31 years I have taken part in national meetings but never addressed them. I only speak at gatherings in the state,” Ajit Pawar said.

He said that an issue was made out of nothing when he went to the washroom. “The party has given me the deputy chief minister and opposition leader positions. Why would I be upset?” he asked. He also said that there were many other leaders such as Sunil Tatkare, Vandana Chavan and a few other leaders, who also could not speak owing to lack of time.

His close aides say Ajit Pawar is hesitant in giving speeches in Hindi due to lack of fluency, but they added that he was also upset at Jayant Patil as he had allegedly tried to stop his appointment as leader of opposition. An insider said that Patil wanted the post for himself and had even spoken to Sharad Pawar about it. Patil was apparently so upset when Ajit Pawar was selected that he, as state party chief, refused to issue a letter to the Speaker for the appointment. The party’s national general secretary Praful Patel had to intervene to settle the matter and even had an argument with Patil. Around 36 legislators from the party submitted a joint letter to Pawar supporting Ajit Pawar’s name for the post.

Now, Ajit Pawar wants the party leadership to conduct elections for the post of Maharashtra unit president which is overdue for around 17 months. He is pushing Dhananjay Munde’s name for the position, said a NCP insider. “A section of the party is of the view that the party needs an OBC leader as its head in the state as BJP has appointed Chandrashekhar Bawankule, an OBC leader, as Maharashtra president,” said an NCP functionary, who did not wish to be named.

Patil was appointed as head of the state NCP unit in April 2018 in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections. The term of the state chief is of three years.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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