Former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday skipped the chance to speak at the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP)’s national convention meeting despite being one of the top leaders in the party.
He left midway in front of party supremo Sharad Pawar.
Ajit Pawar left the stage just moments after party leader Jayant Patil was given the chance to speak before him which sparked rumours of a rift in the party.
Although the Maharashtra leader later clarified that he did not speak in the meeting because it was a national-level meeting.
NCP Member of Parliament (MP) Praful Patel had announced on the stage that Ajit Pawar will speak before Sharad Pawar’s concluding remark but the former deputy Chief Minister was missing from his seat.
It was later on announced by Praful Patel that Ajit Pawar had excused himself to go to the washroom and will come back for the speech in front of cadres who raised slogans in support of the former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, NCP MP Supriya Sule was seen convincing Ajit Pawar to return for his speech on the stage.
When Ajit Pawar entered the meeting venue, party veteran Sharad Pawar had already started his concluding remarks after which the former didn’t get any chance to speak.
In 2019, while Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra were still discussing the alliance, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on November 23, 2019, took oath as Chief Minister with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy. The two were sworn in at an early morning ceremony but the government lasted only 80 hours.
Earlier on Saturday, Sharad Pawar was re-elected as the President of the National Congress Party (NCP) for the next four years.
Sharing the information, the chief spokesperson of NCP, Mahesh Bharat Tapase said that Sharad Pawar unanimously was re-elected as the chief of the party.
Notably, Sharad Pawar has been holding the office since 1999 when he founded the party with P.A. Sangma and Tariq Anwar after splitting from Indian National Congress.
At present, the General Secretaries of the party are Sunil Tatkare and Praful Patel.
From NCP, Ajit Pawar is the current leader of the Opposition in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
However, for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, Sharad Pawar has advocated the unity of Opposition parties.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)