After election debacle, Ajit Pawar’s wife may be elected to RS unopposed

When Sunetra filed her papers on Thursday, she was not accompanied by any BJP or Shinde-led Shiv Sena leader.
After election debacle, Ajit Pawar’s wife may be elected to RS unopposed

MUMBAI: Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s spouse Sunetra Pawar was the lone candidate for the Rajya Sabha election, filling in for Praful Patel’s vacant place. Today was the last day for the nomination.

When Sunetra filed her papers on Thursday, she was not accompanied by any BJP or Shinde-led Shiv Sena leader. That led to speculation that BJP might dump Ajit Pawar-led NCP as an ally, especially after an RSS snub that Ajit’s alignment with BJP damaged the latter in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sunetra recently lost the Lok Sabha election against NCP (SP) Supriya Sule in Baramati by a margin of over 1.50 lakh votes. The Ajit Pawar-led NCP is a BJP ally while Sule contested as a party candidate on behalf of the 3-party alliance Maha Vikas Aghadi.

Baramati was a high-voltage election for both Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit. Ajit Pawar is MLA from Baramati so he also got a setback as his spouse trailed by over 48,000 votes in the assembly segment of the Baramati parliamentary seat.

NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal was also interested in the Rajya Sabha seat but eventually agreed when other NCP leaders decided to nominate Sunetra.

Asked if key posts were going to one family, Bhujbal maintained Ajit Pawar did not decide Sunetra Pawar’s nomination. Asked whether he was disappointed over not being fielded in the Rajya Sabha polls, the state cabinet minister shot back: “Can you see it on my face? I have learnt to respect collective decision-making and have been doing it for 57 years. Be it the Shiv Sena or NCP, decisions are taken after discussions with people and not as per one person’s will.”

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