Before Sharad Pawar’s clarification, speculation over his role
The big question on everyone’s mind on Saturday morning was: Did Sharad Pawar know?
Indeed, the Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi , in his first reaction to the news of Devendra Fadnavis’s and Ajit Pawar’s swearing-in, termed it “surreal” and “amazing if true” and added “#pawarji tussi great ho” (Mr Pawar, you are great). He later clarified that it was clear that Ajit Pawar did not have the support of the “full NCP”. By then, Sharad Pawar had already clarified that Ajit Pawar’s decision was a personal one, did not have his or the party’s blessings, and that most of the NCP’s MLAs were still with him.
If there was speculation on Sharad Pawar being in the know, blame it on his one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. Pawar said at the time that it was to discuss the agrarian crisis in the state. And if there was speculation of his involvement, blame it on developments in the past two weeks as the Congress-Shiv Sena-NCP tried to hammer out an alliance.
On November 11, when the Congress was willing to declare its support to a Shiv Sena-led government, Pawar asked the Congress to put an announcement on hold as he wanted more talks,” a political leader in Maharashtra said on condition of anonymity.
On November 12, NCP decided to send a letter to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari seeking more time for government formation instead of waiting for the deadline that was ending in the evening. Koshyari sent a report to Centre recommending President’s Rule and by the end of the day, it had been imposed.