Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Hindu
The Hindu
Shoumojit Banerjee

‘Issues on ground are not solved by making speeches in parliament and taking selfies,’ Ajit Pawar fires salvo against cousin Supriya Sule

Stressing that he had not stolen anybody’s party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar took aim at his cousin and incumbent Baramati MP Supriya Sule by saying that work could never get done by “merely making speeches in Parliament” and “clicking selfies.”

Addressing booth-level cadres of his NCP faction in the Pawar stronghold of Baramati in Pune district, the Deputy CM, without naming his cousin sister, took thinly-veiled jibes at her.

“Issues on the ground are never resolved by making speeches in Parliament and getting ‘Best Parliamentarian’ awards,” said Ajit, alluding to Ms. Sule being awarded the same eight times in a row.

“I do not roam around taking selfies nor do I ever do superficial politics. Had I done that [made speeches] in Mumbai, then would work have been done in Baramati? As long as I have your support my work will continue at this speed,” he asked rhetorically, exhorting his NCP workers to tell voters of the benefits of having him [Ajit Pawar] in a vital position in Maharashtra and the advantages for Baramati owing to this.

Taking more potshots at Ms. Sule, Ajit Pawar said that some people were slandering him by saying that he aligned with the ruling alliance [BJP-Shinde Sena] as he was facing corruption charges.

“However, I want to tell everyone that this same person [Ms. Sule] never became a minister. So, why would anybody make corruption allegations against this person. Only those who work on the ground and become ministers face criticism and allegations. But those who do not work, never face any criticism,” said Ajit, taunting Ms. Sule.

The Deputy CM’s salvo at Ms. Sule comes at a time of intense speculation that Sunetra Pawar (Ajit’s wife) is to be the ruling ‘Mahayuti’ coalition’s candidate. While Ajit Pawar said he would be soon announcing the name of the candidate for the Baramati seat, a poll van bearing Sunetra Pawar’s poster was doing the rounds in Baramati.

Taking a jibe at Ms. Sule, Ajit Pawar told his NCP faction workers to tell voters clearly that his candidate would work far more effectively for Baramati than the MP [Supriya Sule] who had been elected three times before this.

“This is Ajit Pawar’s word. You [booth workers] may wonder how to convince people of the merits of a first-time candidate. Tell them that the people around that candidate have been elected six-seven times and that my candidate would do far more work for Baramati than the MP who had been elected three times before this. Ask voters to vote for my candidate thinking they are voting for Ajit Pawar,” said the NCP leader.

Targeting his uncle Sharad Pawar, whose party he split in July last year by joining the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-BJP government, Ajit said: “Some people [Sharad Pawar] will try to make emotional appeals during poll campaigning. But work on the grounds will not get done by all this.”

Ajit further claimed that his family has been isolated in the Pawar clan after his decision to politically part ways with Sharad Pawar.

“Some people are saying that both factions will unite. But I want to clarify that now the division is quite clear. He (Sharad Pawar) is the only senior in the Pawar) clan and there is a possibility that barring my family, everyone in the clan will campaign against me. However, my supporters are still with me,” he said.

Today’s rally comes a day after Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar declared Ajit Pawar’s NCP faction to be the ‘real one’. The Election Commission, much to the ire of the Sharad Pawar group, had recently awarded the NCP name and the party’s iconic clock symbol to Ajit Pawar’s rebel faction.

Ajit Pawar further expressed confidence that PM Narendra Modi would return to power once more and that the NDA would again form the government at the Centre.

He urged his workers to maintain good coordination with the booth workers of allied parties like the BJP and the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.

“They are our allies. We must take these parties into trust. They should not be given step fatherly treatment. Remember that the NCP is not just a party but an idea embodying the best interests of Maharashtra and the country’s prosperity in mind. The clock [alluding to the NCP’s symbol] is the same, but the time now is different,” Mr. Ajit Pawar said.

The ruling BJP, which has long tried breach the hitherto impregnable Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, now feel that they may finally have a chance with Ajit Pawar’ joining the ruling government.  

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.