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Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has emerged as the front defender for the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

Published: 16th March 2020 11:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2020 11:35 AM   |  A+A-

Shiv Sena spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi

Shiv Sena spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

‘Ajit Pawar is de facto CM’

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has emerged as the front defender for the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. In the ongoing Assembly’s Budget session, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has taken the backseat and allowed Ajit to answer all questions of Opposition.

The NCP leader has come the fore, defending the decisions of the coalition government — right from Shiv Bhojan Thali to farm loan waiver. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis pointed out this contrast, saying Ajit was de facto chief minister.

Killing two birds with one stone

Maharashtra Congress nominated Rajeev Satav for the Rajya Sabha polls. It had proposed the names of Mukul Wasnik, Rajeev Satav, Mallikarjun Kharge and Hussain Dalwai and requested Congress president Sonia Gandhi to select one of them.

It was a tough choice for the Congress to choose but the Maharashtra Congress indirectly put the weight behind Rajeev Satav, who is close to Rahul Gandhi and arch-rival of former chief minister Ashok Chavan within the party.

The move has killed two birds with one stone — the arrangement will ensure Satav works in Delhi and not come out as a competitor to the local Congress leader. Besides, his presence in Delhi will help to maintain and widen the gap between the Gandhi family and Ashok Chavan.  

Aaditya’s growing heft in Sena

The nominations of Shiv Sena spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi nomination for Rajya Sabha polls send the signal that the power of the real decision lies with Shiv Sena youth leader and minister Aaditya Thackeray. Five-time MP Chandrakant Khaire from Aurangabad was trying for the Rajya Sabha with senior Shiv Sena leaders also supporting his candidature.

The Sena leaders were of the opinion that the local body election of Aurangabad is in April and Khaire’s candidature will boost the party prospect in elections. But Aaditya vetoed the plan in favour of Chaturvedi, leaving this group of Sena leaders confounded. Party insiders said it is testimony to Aaditya’s growing influence in the party founded by his late grandfather.

Ensuring rehabilitation of supporters

After his gharwapsi, NCP leader Ajit Pawar ensured that the legislators. who supported his 80 hours of revolt against his uncle Sharad Pawar, get rehabilitated either in the government or the party. First-time NCP legislator Anil Patil, who was flocked to Haryana in support of Ajit, and other such MLAs were overlooked by the senior Pawar in the ministerial allocations. But Ajit ensured the appointment of Patil as ‘Pratod’ (NCP chief whip). Another legislator Narhari Zirwar was elected on last Saturday as Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly. Dhananjay Munde, an Ajit loyalist, has already been inducted in the state Cabinet.

Sudhir Suryawanshi

Our correspondent in Maharashtra suryawanshi.sudhir@gmail.com

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