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Pawar has many plans, to unfold alt39em in alt3914

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KALYANI SHANKAR

What is NCP chief Sharad Pawars gameplan? A debate has arisen after Pawar has said in a TV interview that he has had 45 years of electoral politics and he will not contest Lok Sabha polls next time.

Do people

read more meaning in his statement? He has often been saying this. Even before his daughter Supriya Sule was nominated by the NCP to the Rajya Sabha, Pawar told a few of us that he has had enough of Lok Sabha and would like to come to Rajya Sabha while his daughter would contest Lok Sabha polls. Within a few days Supriya was nominated to Rajya Sabha and later on she also contested Lok Sabha from Pawars constituency Baramati in 2009 and won the seat with a handsome majority while Pawar moved to another constituency.


Eyebrows are raised at the timing of his announcement. Why has Pawar chosen this moment to repeat his resolve? It is known in political circles that Pawar does not say anything without a purpose. Is he testing waters by this statement? Is it because of the way baton is being handed over to the younger generation in many other parties? The Congress is projecting the Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi as the next prime ministerial candidate. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is projecting his son Akilesh Yadav in the current UP polls. RLD chief Ajit Singh is bringing his son Jayant forward.

DMK chief Karunanidhi is in the process of handing over the baton to his son Stalin. National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah has already handed over his baton to his son Omar Abdullah. So it is a change all around.

While Supriya is the face of NCP in Delhi, it is his nephew Ajit Pawar who is managing the show in Maharashtra.

There are some who believe Pawar is not retiring from politics. His statement is misread by the media. He may come to Rajya Sabha even if he does not contest elections. Secondly, he wants to send a signal that his nephew Ajit will have freedom in the state while Supriya will have more freedom at the Centre. Thirdly, he has often said that he would devote 60 per cent of his time in politics and 40 per cent in other pursuits like sports, culture and other interests.

Pawars politics is at two levels. One at the Maharashtra level where there is no leader to match his stature in any party and the other at the central level where he is a senior minister.

While his daughter Supriya Sule is a Lok Sabha MP, his nephew Ajit Pawar is also a prominent politician in Maharashtra and is the deputy chief minister of the state. Pawar is a shrewd politician and would keep the suspense alive by not naming his successor saying that NCP did not believe in dynastic politics.

It is no secret that Ajit Pawar is gaining control at the state level gradually.

It was evident after the 2009 assembly election that Ajit commands the majority support of legislators. All the defections to the NCP are attributed to his political manoeuvrings. In fact it is Ajit Pawar who is managing the flock together. It is Ajit Pawar who may play a big role in the current Zilla Parishad elections, which are crucial for the NCPs political future.

The Congress is watching closely how Pawar is dealing with his daughter and nephew. At the state level the party has not been able to work at the ground level in tune with the ally Congress as the NCP has cut into the Congress turf.

The two parties remain together only to keep the Sena- BJP out. The aim of the NCP is to get more seats in the 2014 elections so that the party would have some say in the government formation.

Congress would like a weaker NCP but the Congress itself is facing weak leadership at the state, internal squabbles and groupism.

Pawar has had his ups and downs. He had been an effective chief minister of Maharashtra many times and has proved his administrative capabilities.

He aspired to become prime minister after Rajiv Gandhis assassination but had to yield to P V Narasimha Rao who became the consensus candidate. The way he handled the situation after th