NCP leader Ajit Pawar
NCP leader Ajit Pawar

Mumbai: To sustain the momentum of the agitation against the BJP dispensation and, at the same time, not allow Ajit Pawar to become a political liability, the party has secured the latter’s resignation as an MLA.

Ajit Pawar is one of the accused in the Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Scam and there is reason for concern as he was the chairman of the bank; that places him in the ring of fire.

Strictly speaking, the resignation in the outgoing Assembly is meaningless; but the political symbolism and the optics far outweigh the other imponderables.

Insiders claim that this is a well-thought out strategy to seize the high moral ground and neutralise any attempts to arrest Ajit Pawar and embarrass the NCP on the eve of the elections.

It will also help create a perception of a principled leader being hounded by a vindictive ruling dispensation. Already the NCP cadres are feeling galvanised and Sharad Pawar only has to keep stoking the embers.

Sharad Pawar, of course, while addressing a press conference in Pune, said he was unaware of his nephew’s decision to quit the Assembly. “Ajit Pawar didn’t contact us before and after quitting,” he said.

However, insiders discount the possibility of Ajit having taken this step without consulting Pawar. “Ajit may have quit as an MLA due to the ED action against me. He was uneasy that my name had cropped up in the MSC Bank scam,” said the NCP boss.

These utterances are perfectly timed at giving a signal to party workers that due to incessant harassment by the Central government, key members of the Pawar family may leave the party.

Political observers feel Sharad Pawar may have ‘swung’ the public perception even before the campaigning starts in the right earnest for the Assembly election.Speaker Bagade said he had received and accepted the resignation.

He added that Ajit did not disclose the reason. "He gave a handwritten resignation letter to my PS. He called me up later. I was surprised. I asked Dada (Ajit Pawar) why he was doing so.

Dada told me he would tell me later. He insisted that I accept the resignation letter," Bagade told a news channel.

Ajit Pawar, who represented the Baramati segment, remained incommunicado. All this seems to be orchestrated and part of a political script.

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