Had I Been Son Of Senior Leader

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'Had I Been Son Of Senior Leader...': Ajit Pawar's Swipe At Uncle

Ajit Pawar said the entire family is against him but party workers are with him. (FILE)

Pune:

In an apparent reference to his uncle, Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said he would have easily become the president of the Nationalist Congress Party had he been the son of the “senior” leader.

The statement evoked an angry response from former state minister Jitendra Awhad, a Sharad Pawar loyalist, who said Ajit would not have risen so quickly in Maharashtra politics if he had not been the senior Pawar’s nephew.

Speaking at a party function, Ajit Pawar said he was accused of “stealing” the party founded by Sharad Pawar, but the Election Commission of India and Maharashtra assembly Speaker gave rulings in his favour (affirming that the Ajit faction was the real NCP).

“Had I been born to the senior (leader), I would have become party president naturally, in fact, the party would have come under my control. (But) I too was born to your brother,” he said, without naming his uncle.

Ajit further said the entire family is against him but party workers are with him.

“We were slandered. It was said we took this decision (to join hands with the BJP) just to stall the inquiries against us. I want to ask, is everyone (who is with him) facing inquiries? he said.

Some people never became ministers, and hence they never faced allegations of corruption, the deputy Chief Minister further said.

“Since you never became a minister, how would any corruption allegation be made against you?…I had the state’s responsibility. Those who work, are bound to face allegations. Those who do not work, are bound to remain clean,” he said.

Notably, Baramati MP Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar’s daughter, has not held a ministerial post so far in her career.

Had he endorsed Sharad Pawar’s choice for the party’s president, he would have received appreciation, Ajit further said.

“But when I became the chief of the party, we are dubbed as good for nothing,” he said.

He would field from Baramati a candidate who has not contested an election earlier, but the person would have supporters with ample experience, Ajit Pawar said, adding that people should vote for his candidate as if he himself was in the fray.

Hitting back, MLA Jitendra Awhad, who belongs to the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, asked why Ajit did not try and become party president through elections instead of launching a rebellion.

“Had Ajit Pawar not been Sharad Pawar’s nephew, he would not have got opportunities so early in his political life. That was why Ajit Pawar became an MP in 1991, an MLA in 1993 and then a (state) minister. From 1999 to 2014, Ajit Pawar held all important portfolios. His acts maligned the party’s image but Sharad Pawar overlooked them because he was related to Ajit,” Mr Awhad told reporters.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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