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Pawar Backtracks Within Hours, Contradicts Supriya About Ajit’s Leadership

NCP chief Sharad Pawar has retracted his remarks about his nephew and breakaway group leader Ajit Pawar within hours, contradicting his daughter Supriya Sule as well in the same breath. Pawar’s public statement that “Ajit is a leader of our party” was flashed by social media within moments after it was made. Nearly four hours later, Pawar said he had never made any such claim. Moreover, Supriya’s assertion that Ajit was the party leader was also rubbished by Pawar. To top it all, Pawar flatly refused that there was a split in the party. He said certain members of the party had taken a different stand but it could not be termed as a split. Pawar’s diametrically opposite statements have created a question mark for the proposed I.N.D.I.A meet to be held in Mumbai next week. Shiv Sena (Uddhav) leader Sanjay Raut maintained that Ajit’s desertion of the NCP was very much a split. The Ajit group had appointed Sunil Tatkare as its own Maharashtra president while Pawar had continued Jayant Patil in that post. If there are two presidents of the same unit, is it not a split, Raut posed a counter question. Ajit Pawar was quizzed by the media in Pune about his uncle’s and cousin’s confusing statements. He merely said, “No comment” and walked away, deepening the suspense over the possibility of bridging the NCP’s split.