“Nalayak” Ajit Pawar Scolded By Older Brother For Abandoning Uncle Sharad

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'Worthless': Ajit Pawar Scolded By Older Brother For Leaving Uncle Sharad

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and his uncle, NCP founder Sharad Pawar (File).

New Delhi:

Ajit Pawar may be Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, but that hasn’t stopped his brother – Shrinivas Pawar – from exercising an elder sibling’s privilege, a stern rebuke, ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

A video of Mr Pawar’s scolding has been shared online. In it, Shrinivas Pawar distances himself from his brother and labels him “nalayak“, or “worthless”. He also accuses him of abandoning their uncle, Sharad Pawar, when the veteran politician needed him the most. “It is my personal opinion there can be no more worthless person than him (Ajit Pawar),” Mr Pawar told reporters.

Not insignificantly, the jabs came as he visited a temple in Maharashtra’s Baramati, which is the family stronghold; Sharad Pawar is a six-time MP from this seat, including four consecutive wins between 1996 and 2004. The seat has been held by his daughter, Supriya Sule, since.

In the 2024 election Ms Sule will likely face-off against Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra.

“I followed Ajit all the time… in all situations. I supported decisions and never questioned him. Many people know me here (Baramati)… I grew up here. When Ajit and I had a discussion, I told him, ‘you keep contesting Baramati as MLA and leave Lok Sabha under Pawar saheb’s leadership… as we are grateful to him for various things he did for us. I didn’t feel good about leaving him alone at 83.”

Pawar senior also said the 83-year-old Sharad Pawar had done a lot for the family.

“Some of our friends told me the future lies with Ajit instead of Sharad… but this thought was very painful. (I don’t) want to leave a person in their old age… a person who can benefit us. In my personal view, if someone thinks in such a way, he is an incompetent person,” he declared.

Shrinivas Pawar wasn’t done yet. He also accused Ajit of standing on the shoulder of their uncle for political gain, and then casting him aside, and then appeared to signal a break with his brother.

“This is like removing the owner of a house after getting ownership of the land. We all know whoever got positions in politics… it was because of Sharad Pawar. Like medicines (which have an expiry date) some relationships also expire. I am 60… I can’t live under pressure,” he said.

Shrinivas Pawar’s broadside at his brother was a stinging one, but it was unlikely that it was an unexpected one; last month the Deputy Chief Minister said, “My entire family will now be against me. They will campaign against me… but my workers are my family now.”

This particular Pawar versus Pawar squabble comes as Ajit Pawar’s faction faced a setback in the Supreme Court in a battle for the undivided NCP’s clock symbol. It, and the NCP name, was given to Ajit Pawar by the Election Commission, but the Sharad Pawar camp has challenged that award.

READ | “Mockery Of Voters”: Supreme Court In Pawar versus Pawar Hearing

The court has, for now, said the Ajit Pawar camp gets the symbol, but only with suitable disclaimers in all instances of use. The court also questioned the poll panel’s recognition of the Ajit Pawar camp as the “real” NCP, just as it recognised Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Sena as the “real Shiv Sena”.

In July last year, Pawar junior forced a break within the Nationalist Congress Party founded and led by Sharad Pawar; Ajit Pawar led 40+ MLAs into the waiting arms of the Bharatiya Janata Party, strengthening the BJP-Shinde Shiv Sena faction’s control of the Maharashtra government.

READ | Some “Not Ready To Retire”: Nephew Ajit Targets Uncle Sharad Again

Since then, uncle and nephew have traded barbs. In January, Ajit Pawar attacked Sharad Pawar for not stepping down as the party boss, as he had promised. “Some do not retire…” he declared.

READ | “I Am Not Old”: NCP Boss Sharad Pawar Jabs Critics Over Age Dig

The Pawar family split also compounded the problems of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, a mismatched (on the face of it) alliance between the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena group led by ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, which went through its own civil war almost exactly one year earlier.

With input from ANI

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