Ajit recalls uncle Sharad Pawar's contribution in steering NCP

Ajit recalls uncle Sharad Pawar's contribution in steering NCP

Mumbai | NCP leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday used the party's foundation day platform to thank his estranged uncle Sharad Pawar for leading the party since its inception in 1999, days after the NCP suffered a crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

Addressing a party function in Mumbai, Ajit Pawar reaffirmed the NCP's stance of not settling for any position lower than a Cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi 3.0 government.

"We made it clear to the BJP that we will not accept any post lower than the Cabinet portfolio. They told us that they need to give Cabinet posts to many of its constituents," he said.

In an apparent bid to dispel perceptions of NCP's disappointment over Cabinet berth allocation, he added, "We are still a part of the NDA." He also claimed the NDA current strength at 284 will cross the 300 mark in the coming months.

In the recent general elections, the NCP under Ajit Pawar managed to secure only one of the four seats it contested, while the rival faction led by Sharad Pawar won eight out of ten constituencies it contested.

Notably, Ajit's wife, Sunetra Pawar, lost to her sister-in-law and sitting MP Supriya Sule in the Pawar stronghold of Baramati.

"I wish to thank Sharad Pawar for leading the party for the last 24 years, along with those who have remained with it since its inception," Ajit Pawar said.

He claimed the Opposition tried to create a negative narrative against the NCP and the government during the elections.

Ajit Pawar split the NCP, founded by Sharad Pawar, in July 2023 as he joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra.

"I can assure everyone that our ideology is based on the teachings of Shivaji Maharaj, Shahu Maharaj, Mahatma Phule, and Babasaheb Ambedkar," the Deputy CM asserted.

He acknowledged that party leader Sunil Tatkare preserved the NCP's image by winning the Raigad Lok Sabha seat.

Reflecting on the NCP's electoral setback, Ajit Pawar stated that internal issues need to be addressed and certain aspects require fixing.

He cited examples of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, who leverage their influence to secure benefits for their respective states.

Commenting on the Lok Sabha election results in rural Maharashtra, he noted that the onion issue brought tears to many eyes, referring to the temporary ban on onion exports by the Central government.

"Except for Jalgaon and Raver Lok Sabha seats, NDA lost all the rural constituencies facing onion growers' anger. We need to work on such issues as well," he added.

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