Jayant Patil scotches speculation of differences with leadership

Published on Aug 06, 2022 12:43 AM IST
Patil, 60, is one of the most seasoned leaders in the NCP and was mentored by Sharad Pawar. He has headed several ministries including home, finance, rural development over many years
Mumbai, India - August 05, 2022: Maharashtra State NCP president Jayant Patil, at NCP Office, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, August 05, 2022. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - August 05, 2022: Maharashtra State NCP president Jayant Patil, at NCP Office, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, August 05, 2022. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)

Mumbai: Jayant Patil, president of the state unit of the Nationalist Congress Party, has reportedly expressed unhappiness at being overlooked for the post of the leader of opposition in the Assembly in favour of Ajit Pawar.

Patil, 60, is one of the most seasoned leaders in the NCP and was mentored by Sharad Pawar. He has headed several ministries including home, finance, rural development over many years.

Sources in the NCP reveal that Patil who is the group leader of the legislative party, was so unhappy at being passed that he refused to issue a letter to the Speaker appointing Ajit Pawar as leader of opposition. Senior NCP leader Praful Patel had to call him twice to remind him to do so especially since 36 of the NCP’s 53 MLAs had already signed a letter supporting Ajit Pawar as leader of opposition.

Patil has formally denied being upset with the leadership and has also scotched speculation that he is set to leave the NCP with his supporters and migrate to the BJP. He did admit that he wanted to be leader of opposition but said that at the same time he himself was party to the decision to ultimately appoint Ajit Pawar to the post. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had appointed a four-member committee to decide on the name, and that committee comprised of Ajit Pawar, Hasan Mushrif, Chhagan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil himself.

Despite Patil’s denials, speculation continues to swirl in the party.

When NCP leader Dhananjay Munde met Patil to get the letter, Patil said he would make the arrangement but refused to give him the letter. Eventually, they say, Praful Patel had to call up Patil yet again and prevail upon him. The decision (to appoint Ajit Pawar) has come from the top boss, he was reportedly told.

A senior NCP leader told Hindustan Times, pleading anonymity, that the support of 36 MLAs for Ajit Pawar upset Jayant Patil as he had been leading the party unit in the state for the last four years. Jayant Patil, however, reiterated that the decision on Pawar’s appointment was taken by the committee of four and was not based on the letter sent by the MLAs

“Mr Pawar deputed four leaders including me to take a decision after the MLAs meeting (on July 3). We discussed among ourselves and after the meeting it was decided that Ajit Pawar will be the next leader of opposition,” he explained, adding that he issued a letter to the Speaker the very next day.

He also denied getting into any kind of arguments with Praful Patel on the phone.

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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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