‘No reason to complain,’ Sharad Pawar on Sunetra’s possible candidacy - Hindustan Times
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‘No reason to complain,’ Sharad Pawar on Sunetra’s possible candidacy

Feb 18, 2024 07:20 AM IST

Speaking at his hometown Baramati on Saturday, Sharad Pawar said, in a democracy, everyone has a right to fight polls. There is no reason to complain if someone is exercising that right

A day after Ajit Pawar dropped hints of his wife Sunetra being a possible contestant from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for Baramati Lok Sabha polls, uncle Sharad Pawar said, that in a democracy everyone has the right to enter into the fray and there is no reason to complain. Speaking at his hometown Baramati on Saturday, Sharad Pawar said, “In a democracy, everyone has a right to fight polls. There is no reason to complain if someone is exercising that right.”

Sharad Pawar criticised his nephew for trying to seek voter support using emotional appeal. (HT FILE)
Sharad Pawar criticised his nephew for trying to seek voter support using emotional appeal. (HT FILE)

Pawar senior was responding to a question on the possibility that the Ajit Pawar-led party is likely to field Sunetra Pawar from family bastion Baramati. Ajit Pawar had on Friday urged Baramati voters to elect a candidate for Lok Sabha polls, which according to him will be a “first timer” yet surrounded by experienced people.

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Ajit’s remarks further fuelled speculations about his wife Sunetra Pawar, 60, being a possible candidate for the upcoming polls for the Baramati Lom Sabha constituency. On Ajit’s other remarks that the new Baramati MP will work more for the development compared to predecessors, Sharad Pawar said, the voters of his hometown are “wise and know everything.”

“People know what we have done in the last 55-60 years. Be it Vidya Pratisthan or many other things, people know who has founded these institutions,” Pawar senior said.

Pawar senior criticised his nephew for trying to seek voter support using emotional appeal.

“He is making people emotional by saying that the whole family is on one side, and he is alone on the other,” Sharad Pawar added.

It was Ajit who a week ago had accused his uncle of resorting to a “last election” appeal, which he said would be to make the electorate sentimental during upcoming LS polls.

On party and symbol, Pawar senior said, the orders pronounced by the Election Commission (EC) and Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on the NCP matter were “unfair”, and his faction would urge the Supreme Court (SC) to get back the party name and symbol.

The Sharad Pawar-led group - now officially named NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) – has already approached the Apex Court to challenge the two orders of the EC and Maharashtra Assembly Speaker. The SC is likely to hear the plea of the senior Pawar-led faction on Monday.

Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea filed by Pawar against the Election Commission of India’s order to officially recognise Ajit Pawar-faction as the ‘real’ Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud took note of the submissions of senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the veteran leader, that the plea needed urgent listing in view of a recent order of the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.

Speaking on Saturday, Sharad Pawar said, “We had anticipated such a decision. The assembly speaker failed to maintain the dignity of his position. The decisions taken by the Election Commission and the speaker are unfair. We are now urging the Supreme Court to take up the matter early considering that Lok Sabha polls are approaching over the issue of the NCP name and symbol.” “Those who formed the party have been removed from it. This has never happened before. This decision was not right as per the judicial system. We have approached the Supreme Court over this issue. The entire country knows who founded the party,” he added.

The Pawar-led group suffered a setback on Thursday after speaker Narwekar held that the faction led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was the real NCP. He also rejected the disqualification petitions filed by both the rival groups against each other’s MLAs.

The ruling came days after the Election Commission held the Ajit Pawar-led faction as the real NCP and allotted him the party name and symbol ‘clock’.

When asked about former Chief Minister and Congress veteran Ashok Chavan joining the BJP, he said, “These days, the effect of multiple agencies, such as ACB and ED, has increased and it can be seen how they are being used against the opposition parties.”

On the issue of Maratha reservation, the former Union minister said a large number of people were supporting activist Manoj Jarange, who has been on an indefinite fast since February 10 to press for the demand for inclusion of the Maratha community into the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

“The government should take a reasonable and concrete stand over the issue of Maratha reservation and Jarange,” he said.

NCP suffered a split in July last year after Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government. The NCP was founded by Sharad Pawar in 1999.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Yogesh Joshi is Assistant Editor at Hindustan Times. He covers politics, security, development and human rights from Western Maharashtra.

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