NCP’s generation leap: Ajit Pawar’s son may contest 2019 LS polls
The third generation of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s family is all set to enter politics.
According to party leaders, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s elder son Parth, 28, is likely to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Maval constituency in Pune district. Ajit, the nephew of Pawar, represents the second generation of Pawar family in politics, along with his cousin and Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule.
Currently, Parth handles the family’s business and now plans to enter electoral politics. His candidature is expected to come up for discussion in a review meeting for Pune and Maval Lok Sabha constituencies called by Ajit in Pune on Wednesday, said a party leader.
In April, Parth was seen at a few party events along with Pawar. In July, he visited Nagpur to see the proceedings of the state legislature during the monsoon session. Ajit didn’t deny the development, but said he doesn’t want his children to join politics. However, they will not be forced into anything, he was quick to add. “I don’t want them to join politics, but I will not force my decision on them. They are free to take their own decision. But the party has its own process to follow. We need to know what the senior leaders and local party workers think before taking any decision,” Pawar told a Marathi news channel.
Despite repeated attempts, Parth remained unavailable for a comment.
Maval constituency covers parts of Pune and Raigad districts. The Shiv Sena has won the Lok Sabha seat in the last two general polls. For 2019, the NCP has chalked out a plan to take the Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWP), along to wrest the seat that comprises parts of Raigad and Pune districts. PWP holds a strong position in Raigad district and NCP has sizeable presence in Pune.
“In the last Lok Sabha elections, both the NCP and PWP contested against each other and Sena got the advantage of division of votes. PWP candidate Laxman Jagtap secured 3.54 lakh votes and Rahul Narvekar of NCP got 1.82 lakh votes against Sena’s Shrirang Barne, who won with 5.12 lakh votes. But this time, if both the parties fight together, we are hopeful that Parth will be able to make his debut in Parliament,” said a senior NCP leader, requesting anonymity.
Jayant Patil, general secretary of PWP said they have decided to join the grand alliance of the Congress and NCP. “We will not contest the general elections this time. Our party will support the alliance candidate. PWP’s performance in Raigad district was remarkable in 2014. In 2019, if both the PWP and NCP come together, we will surely win the Maval seat,” he said.
Maval Lok Sabha constituency was formed following recommendations of Delimitation Commission of India in 2008. It comprises six assembly constituencies Panvel, Uran and Karjat (Raigad district) and Maval, Pimpri and Chinchwad (Pune district).
PWP has strong presence in all three assembly constituencies of Raigad district. In the last Assembly polls, it lost both Panvel and Uran to BJP and Shiv Sena respectively, but with small margins. In Uran, the margin of votes was only 846 seats and in Panvel, it was 13,215 votes.