BJP likely to call it quits with Ajit Pawar

The RSS was not happy with BJP leadership’s decision of breaking the NCP and allying with the Pawar-led faction ahead of the LS polls, the sources said.
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.(File | PTI)

MUMBAI: After a write-up in the RSS mouthpiece said that the alliance with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar-led NCP was one of the reasons for the BJP’s Lok Sabha poll setback in Maharashtra, speculations are rife that the saffron party may snap ties with Ajit and fight assembly elections with CM Ekanth Shinde-led Shiv Sena as its ally, sources said.

The RSS was not happy with BJP leadership’s decision of breaking the NCP and allying with the Pawar-led faction ahead of the LS polls, the sources said.

“RSS-BJP cadres are groomed on anti-Pawar plank. They are anti-Ajit Pawar because of his link to irrigation and Maharashtra state cooperative bank scams. But the anti-Pawar narrative took a back seat after junior Pawar joined hands with BJP. Rubbing salt to the wound, he was made a deputy chief minister in the MahaYuti government,” a senior BJP leader said, wishing anonymity.

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
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“In the Lok Sabha elections, it was visible that RSS-BJP cadres were not ready to campaign for NCP candidates and remained complacent in many places. As a result, BJP’s tally came down from 23 in 2019 to nine in 2024,” the leader said. Ratan Sharda, a lifelong RSS worker, said in his article in Organiser that allying with Ajit reduced the “brand value of BJP” and made it “just another party without any difference.”

Sources said the BJP leadership is deliberating on the impact of no truck with Ajit in assembly elections scheduled later this year. “If our party drops Ajit and goes ahead with Shinde in assembly elections, then it may appear that BJP used Ajit and later threw him. This use-and-throw policy may boomerang as well. But another scenario is that keeping Ajit as an ally may not be beneficial. Polls have shown that Ajit is a liability, so the BJP has to rethink with faction,” another leader said.

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
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