A wave of uncertainty swept across Maharashtra’s political landscape as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule presented conflicting viewpoints about the status of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar within the party. This situation led to divergent interpretations among political allies, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) taking a cautious stance while the Shiv Sena (UBT) claimed a visible party split. The Congress party suggested a touch of humor by likening the situation to “Episode 2 of Ajit Pawar Returns,” hinting at the ongoing political drama.
Supriya Sule, representing Baramati in the Lok Sabha, previously indicated that Ajit Pawar’s involvement in the state government should not be perceived as a rupture in the NCP. Subsequently, NCP chief Sharad Pawar echoed a similar sentiment during a press conference in Baramati, stating that Ajit Pawar remains an integral part of the party when questioned about his daughter’s statement.
Sharad Pawar’s remarks triggered discussions about Ajit Pawar’s position within the party, causing uncertainty among the party’s allies. Ajit Pawar, currently on tour in Pimpri Chinchwad near Pune, refrained from commenting on his uncle’s statement. During his speech, he commended Prime Minister Modi for the Chandrayaan 3 mission.
While en route to Kolhapur, Sharad Pawar attempted to clarify his stance by explaining that he meant their unity as a family, not the absence of a party divide. However, his clarification only further muddled the situation. Supriya Sule added to the complexity by quipping, “Boss is always right,” in response to her father’s latest assertion.
Sharad Pawar later emphasized that the party had given Ajit Pawar a second chance after his prior misstep during the swearing-in ceremony. He underlined that such opportunities aren’t repeated and expressed the party’s position. Party colleagues revealed that the NCP had communicated with the Speakers of the Maharashtra assembly and the Lok Sabha regarding the potential disqualification of members deviating from the party line.
The conflicting statements prompted diverse reactions from political factions. Praveen Darekar of the BJP responded cautiously, remarking, “If Sharad Pawar’s statement holds true, he stands with us. I appreciate it.” In contrast, Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Raut emphatically declared a division within the NCP. Meanwhile, Atul Londhe, spokesperson for the Maharashtra Congress, amusingly predicted “Ajit Pawar Returns Part-2,” indicating that Sharad Pawar’s remarks had ignited spirited political deliberations.