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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Ajit said allying with BJP was a mistake: Sharad Pawar

Sharad Pawar said his nephew, Ajit Pawar , had confessed that allying with BJP was a mistake.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2019 05:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sharad Pawar said that Ajit was irked by the long negotiation and disagreements between the NCP, Congress and the Shiv Sena  on November 22.
Sharad Pawar said that Ajit was irked by the long negotiation and disagreements between the NCP, Congress and the Shiv Sena on November 22. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
         

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday that senior party leader and his nephew, Ajit Pawar , had confessed to him that allying with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was a mistake. The 78-year-old leader also indicated that he may forgive Ajit for the misadventure that barely lasted 80 hours.

In an interview to a Marathi TV channel, ABP Majha, Pawar also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made an offer to work together, which he rejected.

Pawar said that Ajit, who was widely considered as the number 2 in the party before he broke ranks and backed BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, was irked by the long negotiation and disagreements between the NCP, Congress and the Shiv Sena on November 22.

“Irked with that disagreement and the ongoing discussion with Congress, Ajit took this call that night. He was told oath has to be taken immediately, if this deal had to be done. Later, Ajit told me he made a mistake,’’ said Pawar.

Pawar, however, indicated that his nephew would be forgiven and pointed out that a large section within the NCP looked up to Ajit’s leadership. “He is always available for them [party workers and leaders] when I am busy in Delhi. This is whether we are in power or not.”

Pawar’s comments come days after the three-party Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi took oath after outmanoeuvring the government of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, which collapsed three days after taking oath when it became clear that it didn’t have a majority.

The NCP chief met Modi two days before the BJP formed the government with Fadnavis as chief minister (CM) and Ajit as his deputy on November 23.

“After our discussion on the unseasonal rain, Modi said he would be glad if we could work together. He pointed out that our opinions on issues of development, industries often converged. I told him we have good personal equations and that will not change. I also told him on national issues, I will support him. I cannot join him because my party’s ideology is different.’’

“There is no truth in reports that I had been offered the post of President, but yes, the PM had said [Pawar’s daughter] Supriya Sule is a good parliamentarian and that he would be glad to have her in the government.”

He also admitted that he knew Ajit was talking to Fadnavis, but he was not aware of his plans to back the BJP. “I knew that Fadnavis had given the offer of an alliance to Ajit. I had told Ajit to see what BJP was talking about. Later, I got busy and then my talks with Sena got serious. I also got a clear signal from Sena MP Sanjay Raut that they were willing to join us,’’ Pawar said. He said he realised that if the Sena was willing to leave the BJP, then there could be a new direction to politics in Maharashtra.

BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said Pawar’s comments were not fair. “How can one comment on a meeting between Modi and Sharad Pawar, two national leaders? It is not fair of Pawar to make such revelations because Parliament is in session and the PM cannot talk about this.”