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Not aware of nephew Ajit’s resignation, says Sharad Pawar

According to Sharad Pawar, “ Parth Pawar conveyed to him that his father (Ajit) advised him that it was better to leave politics and do some farming or some other business.”

ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 27, 2019, 11.48 PM IST
Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar
MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar resigned from the Maharashtra assembly, in an unexpected move when party chief Sharad Pawar was mounting a counteroffensive against the Enforcement Directorate that named the uncle and nephew in a money-laundering case.

Ajit Pawar sent his resignation to Maharashtra assembly speaker Haribhau Bagade on Friday. His sudden resignation, with state elections less than a month away, has led to talk that there has been friction between the uncle and nephew.

Sharad Pawar has alleged political vendetta by the BJP government in filing the case, and said he would voluntarily visit the ED’s office (he later cancelled the plan). Ajit was not present at the senior Pawar’s Mumbai residence, Silver Oak, on Friday morning when he was expected to leave for the ED office. NCP leaders claimed that Ajit was in his constituency of Baramati which was hit by floods. But, some party sources said he was in Mumbai.

Ajit was unhappy with his uncle taking on the ED, as it was being seen as an invitation for the agency to target them in the case linked to Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank, sources said. Ajit was a director of the bank, and was involved in its affairs, but Sharad Pawar was not directly linked to it.
Ajit is also upset over Pawar's grand nephew Rohit pawar being promoted by the party

Sharad Pawar said he would look into the “extreme decision” of his nephew to resign and denied that there were any squabbles within the family.

In 2012 Ajit had resigned suddenly as the deputy chief minister, in the wake of his name coming up in an irrigation scam. But it was alleged that the resignation was a ploy to put pressure on his uncle to seek the Congress to remove the then chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan.

Ajit of late has been having several public disagreements with his uncle. While Sharad Pawar claimed that the electronic voting machines had been tampered with, Ajit said the EVMs had nothing to do with the BJP victory in the Lok Sabha polls.

Ajit also took a turn to the right asking party workers to display saffron flags along with the party symbol to show the party was not anti-Hindu. Sharad Pawar, however, said this was not the party stand.

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