The Pawar family feuds, weaknesses and struggles that until now wasn’t being spoken off in the backdrop of NCP President Sharad Pawar’s powerful assembly election campaign have come out in open, again; this time because of him being named in the ED enquiry. Within 48 hours, all media attention shifted from how successfully Sharad Pawar was defying age to take on his opponents to the big fight in the big fat political dynasty of the Pawars in Maharashtra.
NCP President Sharad Pawar, the former chief minister of Maharashtra has been named in a money-laundering case by the ED in connection with an alleged bank fraud of Rs 25,000-crore in Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank. Retaliating to him being named in the FIR, Sharad Pawar had said that he would visit the ED office on September 27 in Mumbai, even though it has not summoned him yet.
The NCP also did not hesitate to play on the undercurrents of the action that has been initiated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Playing up the Marathi versus Gujrati card, NCP President Sharad Pawar had also fired up Marathi manoos sentiments as he said that they will not bow down to Delhi, indirectly touching upon the unsaid cold war brewing for supremacy in Maharashtra led by PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah (both Gujratis).
He however did not go ahead with his scheduled ED visit after Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve met him at his residence and requested him not to visit the central agency’s office as it may create a law and order situation. While NCP President Sharad Pawar maintained that he was not associated with the bank in any capacity, all political parties, including leaders of BJP came out in his support questioning the timing of the FIR just ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls. The Chief Minister has however refuted any political angles to the ED enquiry on Sharad Pawar.
It’s not known why yet but even Ajit Pawar resigned from the state legislature in the middle of the Sharad Pawar – ED drama. While Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar’s son Parth said they were clueless why Ajit Pawar resigned, but everything points to a fallout over ticket distribution. Less than a month before Maharashtra votes to elect a new government, the Pawar family, and consequently the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, has plunged deep into a crisis – both political and familial. At a press conference in Pune later in the evening, Sharad Pawar said he too had not been able to contact Ajit Pawar and did not know the reason behind his resignation. He, however, said that according to the family Ajit Pawar was upset about the ED action.
Unfortunately, the Pawar family feud now overshadows the fact that finally NCP was showing some signs of springing back to life, first with Pawar’s rallies across Maharashtra and later due to the anger against Enforcement Directorate’s decision to name Sharad Pawar that seemed to have united the Marathi manoos through sentiments of Marathi asmita.
In 2017, Rohit Pawar won the Zila Parishad elections from the Pawar hometown of Baramati, and since then has been quietly building a grassroots network across the state. Within the NCP, many party workers see him as the first real mass leader since Sharad Pawar — in contrast to Parth Pawar.
While Parth Pawar and Rohit Pawar battle is being widely reported, insiders say that the real war for supremacy is happening between Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule and Ajit Pawar for taking over the NCP party’s leadership from Sharad Pawar. As of now, neither Parth nor Rohit are going to be taking over the reins of the party and the fact that both Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule are in favour of Rohit Pawar, is an indication that they want to decimate Ajit Pawar within NCP. Experts say the assembly elections will not only make the Pawar internal family feud public but will also finally making it official who the Sharad Pawar heir in NCP will be.
The present times has set the picture clear. The BJP has won the people’s trust of being a party based on nationalism, patriotism and ideologies that resonate morals and values against the big fat political families, it then be the Gandhis’ Congress or Pawars’ NCP. It looks like the Pawar family internal ego and fight for supremacy within NCP has brought it down just ahead of the crucial assembly elections next month. #ZebaWarsia – NMTV News.