Praful Patel claims Sharad Pawar ‘was 50% ready’ to join hands with BJP in 2023 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Praful Patel claims Sharad Pawar ‘was 50% ready’ to join hands with BJP in 2023

Apr 10, 2024 04:15 PM IST

Sharad Pawar in 2023 said that he will never join hands with the BJP, days after his nephew Ajit Pawar split the party and joined the ruling ‘Mahayuti’ alliance

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel on Wednesday claimed that Sharad Pawar was '50 per cent' ready to go with the Bharatiya Janata Party when his nephew Ajit took oath as the deputy chief minister in the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra.

“On 2nd July 2023, when Ajit Pawar and our ministers took oath with Maharashtra govt, we met Sharad Pawar on 15th-16th July and requested him to join us. Later, Ajit Pawar and Sharad Pawar met in Pune. He was also 50% ready...Sharad Pawar always hesitates at the last minute,” Patel told news agency ANI.

ALSO READ: Sharad Pawar gave nod for BJP-NCP govt in 2019, says rebel camp

Last year, Sharad Pawar, who now helms the NCP-Sharadchandra Pawar faction after the original name and symbol was allotted to his nephew by the Election Commission, had said that he will never join hands with the BJP.

“Do not be under any confusion. We will not compromise no matter what. We will have to fight the BJP in the upcoming elections," he had said.

Praful Patel said Sharad Pawar would have become prime minister in 1996 if he was not hesitant.(HT File)
Praful Patel said Sharad Pawar would have become prime minister in 1996 if he was not hesitant.(HT File)



ALSO READ: Sharad Pawar says his colleagues joined BJP under pressure due to ED action

 

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Ajit Pawar had unsuccessfully tried to split the party in 2019 when he took oath as deputy chief minister to Devendra Fadnavis. However, Sharad Pawar had managed to keep his flock united and the nephew had to return to the party fold.

However in 2023, Ajit Pawar along with eight other leaders rebelled once again and joined the Mahayuti alliance led by the BJP and the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. Praful Patel, once considered a close aide of Pawar Sr. is also with the Ajit faction and a Rajya Sabha MP.

Patel who in the past had claimed how Sharad Pawar was denied the prime minister's post, once again attributed to ‘hesitant’ nature of the Maratha strongman.

‘Pawar could’ve been PM in 1996', claims Praful Patel


“In 1996, if Pawar saheb had agreed to the suggestions of HD Devegowda, then he could have been the PM. Sharad Pawar could have been PM in 1996 itself if he was not hesitant,” Patel told ANI.

In 1997, Sharad Pawar had unsuccessfully challenged Sitaram Kesri for the post of Congress president. Two years later, he along with his supporters were expelled from the party for opposing Sonia Gandhi on the basis of her foreign origins. Pawar floated his own party NCP. He also served as a Union minister in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government between 2004 and 2014.

(With ANI inputs)

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