Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 5 (ANI): Amid the ongoing Maharashtra NCP crisis, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar took a veiled dig at his uncle and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar regarding his age that left the NCP Supremo’s party members and loyalists fuming and resulted into a chain of reactions.
On Wednesday, taking a swipe, Ajit Pawar urged Sharad Pawar to step down and give a chance to the new generation stating that even leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retire at the age of 75.
The junior Pawar also has blamed the 82-year-old Sharad Pawar for NCP losing out on the chance to have a chief minister of Maharashtra despite having the support of a majority of MLAs in the year 2014. “You portrayed me as a villain in front of everyone. I still have deep respect for him (Sharad Pawar)…But you tell me, IAS officers retire at 60…even in politics – BJP leaders retire at 75. You can see the example of LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi…That allows the new generation to rise…”
“You (Sharad Pawar) give us your blessings…The other day, he went to YB Chavan memorial…I have also been there…but you are 83, aren’t you going to stop?…Give us your blessings and we will pray that you live a long life,” said the Deputy chief minister while addressing party legislators and other workers in Bandra here.
Later in the day NCP’s working president Supriya Sule in a stern response asked the deputy CM not to disrespect her father. “Disrespect us, but not our father (Sharad Pawar). This fight is against the Bharatiya Janata Party government. BJP is the most corrupt party in the country,” said Sule in Mumbai on Wednesday.
“I saw 2019 elections, this 84-year-old man fought and won, age is just a number,” Sule said further.
Meanwhile, Anil Deshmukh, NCP leader and a loyalist Sharad Pawar also came for rescue and ended up calling his party chief a “Lion” and said, “82 saal ka sher abhi bhi zinda hai,” (82-year-old Lion is still alive).
Earlier, both Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar factions of the Nationalist Congress Party held their meetings in Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in south Mumbai and in Bhujbal Knowledge City in suburban Bandra, respectively, on Wednesday.
While sources revealed that Election Commission has received a petition from Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar staking claim to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the party symbol.
The sources said the Election Commission has also received a caveat from Jayant Patil, who is with the Sharad Pawar group. He also informed the panel that they have initiated a disqualification process against nine MLAs who joined the Eknath Shinde-BJP government in the state on Sunday.
Later, reacting over the move by Ajit Pawar at a crucial party meeting at YB Chavan Auditorium, Sharad Pawar showing confidence said NCP symbol is “not going anywhere” and that they were not hungry for power and will keep working for people. “The party symbol is with us; it is not going anywhere. The people and party workers who brought us to power are with us,” said Pawar.
Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, MP and party leaders Anil Deshmukh, Balasaheb Patil, Ashok Pawar, Jayant Patil and Rohit Pawar were among those present.
Sharad Pawar termed the meeting as “historic” and slammed the group led by Ajit Pawar saying they had not followed any procedure. “We weren’t taken into confidence by the MLAs who decided to split. Ajit Pawar faction has not followed any procedure. Ajit Pawar should have spoken to me if he had any problems. If he had something on his mind he could have approached me,” the NCP chief said. He also attacked the BJP for joining hands with those it had called “corrupt”.
The crisis in Nationalist Congress Party has been triggered by Ajit Pawar switching sides on Sunday and joining the Eknath Shinde-BJP government as Deputy Chief Minister. Eight other NCP MLAs took oath as ministers on Sunday with Ajit Pawar. (ANI)
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