Ajit Pawar appeared before the media for the first time since Tuesday after resigning from the post of Maharashtra deputy chief minister. After taking the oath of an MLA, a visible irritated Pawar, on being questioned by journalists, said, “I was and am in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Do you have written information that I was removed from the party?” The day belonged to Supriya Sule, the daughter of Sharad Pawar, but more about it later.
Pawar Jr said, “My role in the new government will be decided by the party. I decided to resign from the post of deputy chief minister after the order of the Supreme Court. After that, I spoke to my party leaders.”
Earlier, Ajit Pawar had arrived at the swearing-in ceremony in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. He surprised everyone with a smile hug with cousin Supriya Sule who welcomed him as soon as he reached there.
Supriya Sule was seen enacting the role of an elder today, not only embracing those younger to her but also pressing the cheeks of Aaditya Thackeray when he arrived in the Assembly.
While exchanging pleasantries with former chief minister Fadnavis, Supriya placed a hand on his shoulder as he moved forward smiling.
Sule, born 1969, is a year older than Fadnavis, and senior by many years to Aaditya Thackeray, born 1990. Ajit Pawar is older than her by 10 years, though.
Ajit had broken ranks with the NCP reportedly due to a struggle in the party over succession rights. Not only did he feel that his uncle Sharad had compromised the interests of the party by agreeing to make Uddhav Thackeray chief minister for five years but he also felt that the authority in the party was getting passed on to Sule rather than him.
The tense atmosphere in Maharashtra polity that had lasted about a month gave way to polite exchanges between people’s representatives at the Assembly today.
Senior leaders of the Shiv Sena, NCP and INC today elected Uddhav Thackeray unanimously as the leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi — the name given to the non-BJP coalition — to become the chief minister of Maharashtra.