Shinde going, going... Ajit Pawar readies to be Maha successor

35-40 MLAs to defect; seek Sharad Pawar’s blessings

Published: 16th April 2023 07:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2023 03:50 PM   |  A+A-

Ajit pawar

Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar. (File photo| PTI)

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde appears to be on his way out, making way for NCP’s Ajit Pawar as his successor in alliance with the BJP.

With the Damocles’ sword of the Supreme Court’s defection verdict hanging over Shinde’s head, the change of guard is just a matter of time. Ajit is in a hurry to realise his dream of becoming CM. He has the support of 35-40 NCP lawmakers, so the anti-defection law will not kick in.

However, senior leaders in his camp want him to get party founder Sharad Pawar’s consent so as to avoid the 2019 fiasco of forming a government with the BJP, which fell within 80 hours as the senior Pawar was not on board.

“Sharad Pawar is reluctant to go with the BJP. He asked Ajit to take his own call, saying he (Sharad) was not willing to stigmatise his political career which is at its fag end by aligning with the saffron party. Ajit’s supporters are aware that going against the party patriarch could mean political suicide because of Sharad Pawar’s ability to sway the public mood,” said a senior NCP leader who requested anonymity. So, the wary NCP MLAs have pressed Ajit to somehow get Sharad Pawar’s blessings.

When Ajit went incommunicado on April 8, he had actually taken a chartered flight to Delhi to meet BJP leader Amit Shah to strike the final deal, highly placed sources said. “Party leaders Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare accompanied him to decide the distribution of portfolios,” a source said. Sources said the BJP has already sounded out Shinde.

“The BJP is in a very difficult situation. The popularity of Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya has increased though they lost the party name and its symbol. According to an internal BJP survey, the Maha Vikas Aghadi would bag as many as 33 of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The BJP cannot afford to lose Maharashtra,” said the source.

The BJP wants a Maratha face as CM since they comprise 35% of the electorate, hence the attempt to draw Ajit Pawar.

Praful Patel an anchor?

When Sharad Pawar recently met Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi, Praful Patel was conspicuous by his absence. It now transpires that Patel has been anchoring Ajit’s switch to the BJP alliance along with Sunil Tatkare


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  • Max Coutinho

    Instead of this political circus which makes a mockery of democracy
    5 months ago reply
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