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Ajit Pawar to return as deputy chief minister

Ajit Pawar will be sworn-in at 9.30 am by Governor K Sankaranarayanan.

Ajit Pawar

Pawar, nephew of NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, had suddenly quit the cabinet on September 25 after his name figured in the alleged multi-crore scam.

A top NCP office-bearer said that “the post had been kept vacant for Ajit Pawar” and it was just a matter of time before he re-joined the state cabinet.

The move comes just days after Ajit Pawar got a clean chit in the alleged scam and before the winter session of the legislature — expected to be a stormy affair with the irrigation scam expected to figure in a big way — opens in Nagpur next week.

He is expected to defend himself, the NCP and the Congress-NCP alliance against the probable opposition onslaught on the issue.

Besides, the NCP is also planning to deploy Ajit Pawar, a fire-brand speaker in the ensuring Gujarat assembly elections.

His abrupt resignation had created a political storm and was quickly followed by all the remaining 19 NCP ministers in the state cabinet also offering to quit, plunging the ruling Democratic Front government in a crisis.

However, they were pacified by the party chief Sharad Pawar, even as intense lobbying started to project Ajit Pawar as the next chief minister.

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