NCP expects him to play a bigger role in Maharashtra politics and ensure the MVA returns to power after the 2024 assembly polls, and if NCP secures more seats than its partners Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) and the MVA crosses the halfway mark, Ajit Pawar will be the CM candidate, said sources.
Sule’s elevation, however, means she will play a decisive role in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
“I am not unhappy, I am more interested in state politics,” Ajit Pawar said about the reshuffle on Saturday evening.
Ajit says he proposed Supriya’s name for working prez, she’ll work at national level
Ajit Pawar on Saturday said it was he who had proposed Supriya Sule’s name as working president of NCP when Pawar had expressed his desire to step down from the party president’s post last month. Ajit said those saying that he did not get any post in the NCP must realise that the party has given him the post of leader of opposition and he will focus on Maharashtra politics. Welcoming the new working presidents, Ajit Pawar reiterated a new leadership should emerge. “Praful bhai has been active in the national capital. Supriya also has been representing Baramati in Parliament, and her performance has been appreciated. I am confident all party leaders will work as a team, and we will try our best to give good results,” he said.
He added, “Earlier too there were rumours that since I and Supriya both are in politics, there would be two power centres (within NCP). However, I want to make it clear again that Supriya would be working at the national level, while I am interested in state politics.” He further said, “Those who are saying I have not got any responsibility should understand I have the responsibility of being leader of opposition. I am doing my job. It is our internal matter, and others should stay out of it.”
A senior NCP leader questioned the theory that Ajit Pawar had been sidelined. “The role of Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule and Praful Patel in the NCP was discussed on several occasions. It was felt that since Patel and Sule are in Parliament, they should be asked to concentrate on national issues and Ajit Pawar should concentrate on state politics,” he said. State NCP president Jayant Patil expressed displeasure over comments that the NCP had failed to grant any new responsibility to Ajit Pawar.
“ All the decisions were taken in New Delhi in the presence of Ajit Pawar. We are surprised doubts have been expressed. It is unfortunate that efforts have been made to spread rumours. Absolutely no injustice has been done to Ajit Pawar,” Patil said. He said several leaders have been given responsibility of different states so that after assembly elections in a few states, followed by LS elections, NCP will next year get its national party status restored. Along with Patel and Sule, senior leaders including Sunil Tatkare, Narendra Verma and Jeetendra Awhad, have been given responsibility of key states.