Succession galore as Sharad Pawar resigns as NCP chief

Mumbai: The big succession question in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) could be answered on Friday following a meeting in Mumbai, party sources said on Thursday.

Veteran politician Sharad Pawar on Tuesday stepped down as the chief of NCP. I have decided to step down as NCP president, Pawar told party workers in Mumbai. Speaking at a book launch of his autobiography at the Yashwantrao Chavan Pratisthan in Mumbai, Pawar announced his decision which was met with protests by NCP workers and leaders.

Announced in the wake of moves by his nephew Ajit Pawar supposedly to split the party and take over as chief, Sharad Pawar’s resignation has been seen by many as a calculated step to outflank an attempted coup.

The anointment of Supriya Sule, a member of parliament from her father’s home constituency in Maharashtra, would ensure the wily 82-year-old keeps the keys to the door.

While NCP president Jayant Patil and party leader Jitendra Awhad broke down after Pawar’s decision, party MP Praful Pawar beseeched him to withdraw his decision. Patil said Pawar did not take anyone into confidence before announcing his resignation.

However, Pawar has clarified that he would not retire from active politics.

“My colleagues, even though I am stepping down from the post of president, I am not retiring from public life. ‘Constant travel’ has become an integral part of my life. I will continue attending public events, and meetings. Whether I am in Pune, Mumbai, Baramati, Delhi, or any other part of India, I will be available to all of you as usual”, Pawar told the NCP workers.

The panel members of the committee deciding on the succession plan in NCP includes Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, nephew Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, Jayant Patil, Anil Deshmukh, Rajesh Tope, Chhagan Bhujbal, and others.

Image courtesy of (Image: Tribune India)

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