Who Will Succeed Sharad Pawar? Meet Tomorrow To Pick New Chief: Sources
MUMBAI: The big succession question following senior political leader Sharad Pawar’s resignation as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president will be answered tomorrow after a meeting in Mumbai, party sources said on Thursday.
A committee appointed by Pawar to choose his successor after his resignation will meet at the party office in Mumbai at 11 am, NCP sources said. If Pawar is firm on his decision, his daughter Supriya Sule will be the party president.
Sarath Pawar’s resignation, announced in the wake of alleged moves by his son-in-law Ajit Pawar to split the party and become chief minister, is seen by many as a calculated move to thwart a coup attempt.
The anointing of Ms Sule, a Member of Parliament from her father’s home constituency in Maharashtra, will ensure the 82-year-old holds the key to the tricky door.
In voicing a name that seems to unite Mr Pawar’s loyalists, senior party leader Chakkan Bhujpal told NDTV on Wednesday, “Ajit Pawar should take care of the state, (Supriya) Sule should take care of national politics. He should be the one. If Sarath Pawar doesn’t want to continue as president then the next National President.
Clearing the way for him on Thursday, the party’s Maharashtra unit president Jayant Patil said he has no desire to become the national president. The announcement was echoed by his colleague Praful Patel a day earlier.
Mr Patel, who removed his name from the controversy, said on Wednesday that despite repeated pleas from leaders and supporters to withdraw his decision to step down, Pawar had not relented.
He said there was no question of electing Sharad Pawar’s successor as the party chief until a final decision was taken on his resignation.
“Yesterday Pawar said he wanted a generational change. Maybe he wanted a new generation to come forward. None of us knew about this beforehand. He has asked for some time and we have to give him that,” Mr Patel said.
“After the party asked him to reconsider his decision, he requested time to think about his decision and till the final decision, there is no question of discussing his succession,” he said.
The party is trying to persuade Pawar to reconsider his decision, Mr Patel said, adding that workers should be patient in protesting the decision and stop resigning their posts en masse.
At least two MLAs and several office bearers have offered to resign after Mr Pawar’s announcement.