Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday stated that Sharad Pawar is his "mentor and leader". But that did not stop him from training his guns at his uncle. During his speech at the Bandra meet he 'advised' his uncle to retire from politics and gave a not-so-gentle reminder of his age.
Pointing out his old age, he implicitly advised him to retire from politics. "Every job has a retirement age. Even political parties have retirement age. You are 83, when will you retire?" He also said that he should rest now.
Ajit Pawar on politics & NCP
“Why do we do politics?? For the development of people. Sharad Pawar took a similar decision in 1978 for public welfare & Jan Sangh was part of his government. He is my idol and there is no doubt about it," he said.
Citing the example of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her reelection as PM after the Emergency, the nephew said that the country needs a charismatic leader. He then heaped praises on PM Modi and said that the country needs a charismatic leader like him.
"In the 2004 Vidhan Sabha election, NCP had more MLAs than Congress. Had we not given Chief Minister post to Congress at that time, till date, Maharashtra would have had a Chief Minister only from Nationalist Congress Party," said Ajit Pawar.
Maharashtra's development important: Ajit Pawar
Ajit Pawar said that his dream is Maharashtra's development; he asked, "If we can contribute towards the state's development by staying in the government, why should we not take the opportunity."
Looking back, he spoke about the party's plan to join hands with BJP in the earlier election. He said, "In 2019 too we had a meeting at Varsha Bungalow. On the orders of the senior leaders of the party, Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patel, I and several others had gone there. Several leaders from BJP were also there. There were discussions among us over cabinet portfolio allocation and positions of Guardian Ministers. But later our party took a step back."
Surpiya Sule hits back at Ajit Pawar
Supriya Sule, hitting out at cousin Ajit Pawar, warned him not to attack her father and responded to his jibe regarding the veteran politician not even stopping at the age of 83.
“Pawar saheb in not only my father. He is the father of all NCP workers. Attack whoever you want but not my father… BJP called NCP corrupt but now they have formed an alliance…Cyrus Poonwala of Serum Institute is 84 and still working… Amitabh Bachchan is 82 and still working,” Supriya Sule said.
"This fight is against the BJP government, which is the most corrupt party in the country," Sule said in Mumbai.
"Some people believe that others have grown old and hence, they should just bless them. Why should they bless them? Ratan Tata is three years older than Saheb and leading the country's largest group," she added.
"The original NCP is with Sharad Pawar and the original symbol is us," she said.
On Sunday, Ajit Pawar led a vertical split in the NCP to become deputy chief minister in the one-year-old Shiv Sena-BJP government, shocking his uncle Sharad Pawar, who founded the outfit 24 years ago after quitting the Congress.
Besides Ajit Pawar, eight other NCP MLAs, including Chhagan Bhujbal and Hasan Mushrif, were sworn in as ministers in the Eknath Shinde cabinet.
Following his oath-taking ceremony, Pawar junior claimed that he had backing of the entire party and earlier today, Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that their faction had support of over 40 legislators.