NEW DELHI: Sharad Pawar on Thursday said his nephew Ajit Pawar, who had rebelled and split the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), will never become the chief minister of Maharashtra.
“Ajit Pawar becoming chief minister will remain only a dream,” Sharad Pawar said when asked about speculations over his nephew being rewarded with the top post
In a surprise coup against his uncle, Ajit Pawar had walked away with majority of NCP MLAs and joined the Eknath Shinde-led BJP-Shiv Sena government as the deputy chief minister.
The two factions are locked in a legal battle for the party’s name and symbol in the Election Commission. During the last hearing at EC, Ajit Pawar faction accused Sharad Pawar of “behaving like a dictator.”
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule has said that the veteran leader’s shock announcement in May to step down as the party chief was due to the insistence by some NCP leaders to go with the BJP.
“Pawar saheb” never wanted to tender his resignation, she said.
Sule was responding to questions about claims by Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who is with the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP, that it had been decided in the party that he would resign.
“Sharad Pawar was not ready to go with the BJP. It was decided that he would resign and Sule be made the party president so that NCP could tie up with the BJP and become a part of the government,” said Bhujbal in an interview with a Marathi news channel that was telecast on Wednesday.
“When everyone in the party insisted on joining hands with the BJP, Pawar Saheb was hurt. He tendered his resignation. You (media) thought it was a drama, but for us it was reality. Later, party workers from the state urged Pawar Saheb to continue as president,” she said.
The Baramati MP said Sharad Pawar suggested setting up a committee to decide who would become the next president of NCP but it was Bhujbal who rejected the idea and urged the party founder to remain in the position.
“Would you call him a ‘tanashah’ (dictator) if he himself instructed the setting up of a committee to look for the next (NCP) president. (Had been a tanashah) he would have ordered that this particular person be made the party president,” she said.
(With inputs from agencies)

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