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Ajit Pawar Faces The Biggest Test Of His Political Career

The leadership of Ajit Pawar faces its most critical litmus test as he gears up to lead his faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to fight not just his uncle Sharad Pawar but some disgruntled leaders within his own party, besides, facing hostile vibes from his alliance partners — BJP and Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde). This attack from multiple fronts is on account of the poor show of his party in the Lok Sabha polls; it bagged just one of the four seats. Even RSS openly expressed its displeasure of BJP entering into an alliance with Ajit Pawar in view of his blemished track record. Luckily, he has got a big relief; BJP has sent out a message that it will fight the forthcoming Assembly polls together. The other problem he is facing is poaching. Srom some of his own ex-party colleagues now in Sharad Pawar’s camp are trying to woo leaders from his camp. There have been constant claims in the media about how 10-12 of his legislators are in touch with the Sharad Pawar’s faction and may cross over. Some of the senior leaders within his own party are not particularly happy about his unilateral decision to nominate his wife Sunetra Pawar who lost the Lok Sabha battle to Supriya Sule, to Rajya Sabha. It is learnt that strong leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal have already begun strengthening his Samata Parishad platform, through which he has been very vocal in supporting the OBC agitation. Whether Ajit Pawar is able to retain his flock, put up a strong fight and bounce back, now remains to be seen.