Maharashtra politics: Ajit Pawar skips NCP's national convention, sparks rumours of rift in the party
NCP National Convention: The NCP president, Sharad Pawar, said that his party will never surrender before the "rulers in Delhi" and urged non-BJP parties to work together to keep the saffron party away from power while addressing the convenyion.
- The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) held its eighth national convention in New Delhi on Sunday
- Ajit Pawar skipped the chance to speak at the meeting and left midway in front of party supremo Sharad Pawar
- Ajit Pawar left the stage just moments after party leader Jayant Patil was given the chance to speak before him
New Delhi: During the eighth national convention of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) here on Sunday, former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar skipped the chance to speak at the meeting and left midway in front of party supremo Sharad Pawar. Ajit Pawar left the stage just moments after party leader Jayant Patil was given the chance to speak before him which sparked rumours of a rift in the party. NCP MP Praful Patel earlier announced on the stage that Ajit Pawar will speak before Sharad Pawar`s concluding remark but the former deputy CM was missing from his seat.
Ajit Pawar later clarified that he did not speak in the meeting because it was a national-level meeting. Praful Patel also announced that Pawar had excused himself to go to the washroom and will come back for the speech in front of cadres who raised slogans in support of the former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister, said an ANI report.
NCP MP Supriya Sule was reportedly seen convincing Ajit Pawar to return for his speech on the stage. When Ajit Pawar entered the meeting venue, party veteran Sharad Pawar had already started his concluding remarks after which the former didn`t get any chance to speak.
During his address, the NCP president said that his party will never surrender before the "rulers in Delhi" and urged non-BJP parties to work together to keep the saffron party away from power. He also slammed the Modi government over rising inflation, unemployment, its handling of the farmers' protests and "fanning hatred" against religious minorities in the country.
The veteran leader further said, "We have to democratically challenge the present government, which is misusing central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate, CBI and money power. We have to be prepared for a fight," stressing on the significance of the venue where the convention was held,Talkatora Indoor Stadium.
"It is at this very place that Bajirao Peshwa had camped with his army in 1737 and challenged the rulers of Delhi," he said, while directing his party workers to strategise with like-minded parties and undertake joint programmes on issues affecting the common man and work towards keeping the BJP away from power.
Briefing the media, senior NCP leader Praful Patel later said that Sharad Pawar was uniquely placed to play a strong role in uniting the opposition forces, brushing aside rumours that the octagenarian was a claimant to the prime minister's post, but said he always pursued constructive politics. The NCP national convention was also addressed by senior leaders P C Chacko, Chhagan Bhujbal, Supriya Sule, Jayant Patil, Amol Kolhe and Fouzia Khan, among others.
It may be noted here that in 2019, while Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra were still discussing the alliance, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on November 23, 2019, took oath as CM with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy. The duo were sworn in at an early morning ceremony but the government lasted only 80 hours.
During the convention, Sharad Pawar was re-elected as the President of the National Congress Party (NCP) for the next four years here on Saturday. Sharing the information, the chief spokesperson of NCP, Mahesh Bharat Tapase, said that Sharad Pawar unanimously was re-elected as the chief of the party.
Sharad Pawar has been holding the office since 1999 when he founded the party with PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar after splitting from Indian National Congress. At present, the General Secretaries of the party are Sunil Tatkare and Praful Patel. From NCP, Ajit Pawar is the current leader of the Opposition in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
(With ANI Inputs)