Political pundits feel power shifting from uncle to nephew

Sep 28, 2012, 08:48 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

According to political pundits, drama surrounding Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's resignation exposed the growing divide within the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

While some senior leaders claims that Union Minister Sharad Pawar is the real face of NCP, Gen-Next says Ajit Pawar’s decision making prowess is inspirational.

Political pundits are of the opinion that ‘power’ in the NCP is slowly shifting from uncle Sharad Pawar to his nephew Ajit to counter Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s chief Raj Thackeray’s growing popularity in the state.

Pawar vs Pawar? Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar. File Pic

NCP organisational secretary and a young party worker from Cantonment Board Ranjit Pardeshi said he was inspired by Ajit Pawar and hence joined the party.

“Sharad Pawar will always be there to guide us. But Dada (Ajit Pawar) infused the strength in the party by his ability to take quick decisions and dashing nature,” Pardeshi said.

He said Ajit Pawar attracts youngsters and this helped the NCP win last year’s PMC election. Another young leader from the party said he was highly influenced by Dadas’ punctuality and working style.

“He is our hero and this is the reason why we all decided to quit our posts the moment Dada tendered his resignation. He is the one who shaped us,” said the youngster.

Commenting on who will be the party chief in the near future, a senior leader said NCP means Sharad Pawar and there is no question of his being replaced by anyone.

“We have faith in Pawar saheb. Ajit Pawar’s decision to resign is his personal and we don’t believe that he has done it with the intention of claiming a bigger post in the party,” the senior leader said.

Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan, who worked with both the Pawars, rubbished the rumours that power was shifting from the uncle to his nephew.

“Dada doesn’t take any decision without consulting Pawar saheb. Hence there is no question of anybody replacing Pawar saheb. Even Dada’s decision to resign was taken after he consulted Pawar saheb,” Chavan said.

She said speculations that Ajit Pawar was planning to takeover from NCP chief were political rumours, churned out by their rivals to tarnish NCP’s image.

Political pundit Nitin Birmal, who has been observing the NCP since its inception, said Ajit Pawar’s resignation was a collective decision taken by both the leaders to counter the growing popularity of the MNS chief.

“Ajit Pawar has never worked with party organisation and if he wants a bigger post in the party, where the ticket distribution would be under his control, then he has to focus on party organisation,” Birmal said.

Suhas Kulkarni said the entire resignation episode can be compared to the politics in Andhra Pradesh, where Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Chandrababu Naidu overshadowed N T Ramarao’s legacy, the founder of TDP. Naidu was Ramarao’s son-in-law.

“The only difference here is that Sharad Pawar is still in touch with local politics and is well-respected by party workers. But it seems that Ajit Pawar is following into Naidu’s footsteps,” Kulkarni said. 

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