With party workers expressing confusion at the local level due to the political developments at the higher level, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar Tuesday urged the Pune unit, which visited him in Delhi, to continue with the party works without apprehension as he will not join hands with the BJP.
Pawar also said the BJP is trying hard to ensure that the party and its symbol are handed over to the faction led by Ajit Pawar and assured that he will not let the saffron party succeed.
A delegation of 229 local NCP leaders led by Pune unit chief Prashant Jagtap visited Pawar in Delhi to get things clarified. “A large delegation met the party chief in Delhi where he heard the local leaders and urged everyone to work for the party without getting confused,” Jagtap said.
He added, “The NCP chief has assured that he would be holding a rally in the last week of August in Pune to interact with the party workers and citizens on his political stand. He clarified to us that he will not join hands with the BJP.”
The confusion among the cadre and senior Pawar’s claim come in the backdrop of Ajit Pawar approaching the Election Commission of India to stake claim over the NCP and its symbol.
However, interestingly, the faction also claims that Sharad Pawar is their leader and they respect him. From hoardings to display boards, Ajit Pawar’s faction has been using Sharad Pawar’s photographs in every mass reach out despite the senior leader asking it to refrain from doing so. What is more interesting, however, is that despite his reservation, senior Pawar has not taken any action against the Ajit Pawar-led faction over using his photographs.
Meanwhile, the faction led by Sharad Pawar has removed all photographs of Ajit Pawar from the party offices amid a scramble by both camps to reconstitute the various committees after the split.
In Pune, the party organisation has declared that it stands with Sharad Pawar while those with their eyes on the elections, including former corporators, have extended support to Ajit Pawar.
The Sharad Pawar-led faction is working in alliance with the Congress and Shiv Sena-led Uddhav Thackeray while the Ajit Pawar faction is getting closer to local leaders of the BJP and the Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Incidentally, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, during his recent public appearance along with Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the `Shasan Aplya Daari’ (government at your doorstep) event in Purandar spoke for 30 minutes to justify his decision to join hands with the BJP-Shiv Sena. He said he has joined hands for the development of the state which is not possible sitting in the opposition.