Ajit Pawar Birthday: This is the fourth time the NCP leader has been Maharashtra's Deputy CM

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, July 21, 2021, 11:49 AM IST
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Maharashtra's Deputy CM Ajit Pawar | ANI

Ajit Pawar is the current and eighth Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Guardian Minister for the city of Pune. He has held the deputy CM post four times till date.

Pawar is the son of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's elder brother Anantrao Pawar. Anantrao had initially worked for renowned film maker, V Shantaram's Rajkamal Studios in Mumbai. His grandfather Govindrao Pawar was employed with Baramati Co-operative trading.

The Bachelor of Commerce graduate lists himself as an agriculturist. He is married to Sunetra, a social entrepreneur, who also looks after his Assembly constituency, and has two sons.

The NCP leader, fondly called Dada, has faced many allegations in his political career. Recently, he has been named in connection with the alleged irrigation scam and was also named in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) gave Pawar a clean chit in the irrigation scam in Vidarbha but the court has not yet ratified this clean chit.

The mercurial leader became the state’s deputy chief minister for the first time in November 2010 and helmed the post twice in the 15-year regime of Congress-NCP alliance from 1999-2014.

The third time he was sworn in as the deputy chief minister resembled a plot of a Bollywood movie. On November 23, 2019, he took oath for the post after rebelling against the NCP and joining hands with the BJP. Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the chief minister then.

But Pawar's resignation just three days later lead to the collapse of the newly-formed government.

On December 30 2019, he took oath as deputy chief minister for the fourth time in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government. He currently serves as the Finance Minister of Maharashtra and also Guardian Minister for Pune.

A tough administrator and an immensely popular face in his largely rural Assembly segment Baramati in Pune district, Ajit Pawar is also a maverick leader who doesn't shy from being on a different page from his party, NCP sources said. He enjoys a big following among NCP legislators as well as a section in the bureaucracy for ‘quick decision making’. He brings with him over 15 years of administrative experience. He has been described by some as the NCP's "tallest leader" in the state.

A former minister, who worked with Pawar as a junior minister in the earlier government, said, “He was the most hard working minister in the government. He used to start work in Mantralaya at 7 am in the morning. So, while he has his flaws, there is little doubt that he will now take over this government and drive all the administrative decisions.”

Dada took the plunge into electoral politics by contesting a by-election in 1991 from the Baramati Assembly seat and has since retained the family bastion seven times in a row.

He first became a minister of state in June 1991, when Sudhakarrao Naik helmed the state government and has so far held portfolios like agriculture, water resources, rural soil conservation, irrigation and power and planning during his three-decade-old career.

His uncle Sharad Pawar was chief minister of the state for the first time from July 1978 to February 1980. He later assumed charge of the top post in June 1988 and continued till March 1990. During his third stint, he was chief minister from March 1990 to June 1991. He ruled the state for the fourth time from March 1993 to March 1995.

(With inputs from PTI)

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