Sharad Pawar explains why no new role for Ajit; ‘Already has responsibility as LoP'

Jun 10, 2023 05:22 PM IST

For the first time, the NCP will have two working presidents – Supriya Sule, Praful Patel. Sharad Pawar said it is to ensure shared responsibilities.

On not giving any new responsibility to nephew Ajit Pawar in the reshuffle inside the party ranks, Sharad Pawar on Saturday said Ajit Pawar already had the responsibility as the Leader of Opposition of the Maharashtra Assembly. Promoting daughter Supriya Sule and Rajya Sabha MP Praful Patel to the ranks of working presidents of the party -- a designation that the party never had -- was a well-thought-out decision by the seniors of the party, Sharad Pawar said.

Sharad Pawar said Ajit Pawar was one of those who made the decision of Supriya Sule and Praful Patel's elevation.
Sharad Pawar said Ajit Pawar was one of those who made the decision of Supriya Sule and Praful Patel's elevation.

The statement came hours after Sharad Pawar made the big announcement passing the baton of the party leadership to the next generation leaders. But his nephew Ajit Pawar did not feature in this division of responsibility where Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule will look after Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and issues related to women, youth and students and the Lok Sabha and Praful Patel will take care of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Goa and the Rajya Sabha.

‘Where is the question of Ajit being happy or unhappy’

While the power division is being seen as sidelining Ajit Pawar who in 2019 joined hands with the BJP, Sharad Pawar said Ajit Pawar already has the responsibility as the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly. On being asked whether Ajit Pawar was happy with the decision, Sharad Pawar said Ajit was one of the decision-makers. "The suggestion was made by him (Ajit Pawar). So, where is the question of him being happy or unhappy,"

When the new roles for Supriya Sule and Praful Patel were announced, Ajit Pawar was present on the stage. With his head down, he was seen fiddling with a bottle and then he clapped. On Twitter, he congratulated Supriya Sule and Praful Patel and all those who got new responsibilities in the sudden reshuffle -- months after the party tided over the crisis when Sharad Pawar announced his resignation from the president post. He later withdrew the decision, but Saturday’s announcement makes it clear that he was confident about his decision to put next-generation leaders at the forefront of the party affairs.

'No dynasty politics because…'

On the allegation of promoting the daughter to a major role in the party sidelining the nephew, Pawar said the decision was taken by the party and not by him. "This is a conscious decision by the entire party and not me alone. If I had to make a decision, why would I have waited all these years," Pawar said.

"Jayant Patil is already the president of Maharashtra unit of NCP, Ajit Pawar is the Leader of Opposition in the assembly. Praful Patel and Supriya Sule did not have any such responsibility in the party and were ready to devote time for the party," Pawar added.

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