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Why Sharad Pawar Resigned, Why BJP-NCP Deals Failed: 6 Highlights of Ajit's Coup

"You are 82 years old, when will you stop?": The week for the NCP has been of claims, revelations, and allegations.

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Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

"You are 82 years old, when will you stop? If you were anyway going to withdraw your resignation later, why did you resign in the first place?": These were the words of Ajit Pawar who launched a full-blown attack against his uncle and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in Mumbai on Wednesday, 5 July.

The kind of words that were never uttered before have not only been spoken but were accompanied by allegations against Sharad Pawar of manipulation, double-speak, and conspiracies to portray him as the 'villain'.

Just a day after taking oath on Monday, a reporter asked Ajit Pawar who is the national president of the party and he said: "Have you forgotten Sharad Pawar?" But now, the message is clear - the goal is total control.

A letter has also been sent to the Election Commission pitching Ajit as the NCP president, which his faction said that was done on 30 June, two days before he took oath as the deputy chief minister on 2 July.

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But if it's Sharad Pawar we talk about, so there were no holds barred either. Pawar senior along with Supriya Sule countered several claims simultaneously at a gathering of his supporters at the YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai. The father-daughter duo made it clear that they will not let the party name and symbol be taken away. But other than the barbs, there were some major claims and revelations made by both sides.

Why did Sharad Pawar pitch to resign? How many times did the NCP try to ally with the BJP? Why was Ajit Pawar not made the party chief all this time?

Here are six key takeaways of Wednesday's tell-all addresses and the Pawar vs Pawar battle of the NCP so far:

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Full-Blown Attack on Sharad Pawar's Retirement

In a kind of language that he has never used before, Ajit Pawar said:

"A Maharashtra government employee retires at 58. IAS-IPS officers retire at 60. In politics, parties like the BJP expect you to retire at 75. The new generation wants to come forward, so why not give your blessings? Advise us if we go wrong somewhere. Your age has reached 82-83, are you ever going to stop?"

But the attacks didn't stop at him. In a veiled taunt at Sharad Pawar's daughter and MP Supriya Sule, Ajit said: "Is it our fault who we are born to?"

Ajit Pawar's words show a clear change of tone that was being used till Tuesday when he refrained from directly putting the party supremo in the line of fire. However, requests for Sharad Pawar to "come onboard" with the decision continued as before.

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The Resignation 'Googly'

Ajit Pawar said that before Sharad Pawar pitched his resignation in May this year, he spoke to him and said that he will form a committee of senior NCP leaders who should declare Supriya Sule as the party president but himself withdrew his resignation after two days.

He further accused Sharad Pawar of constantly throwing a 'googly' like this and manipulating him to eventually portray him as the "villain."

"Are we not capable of running a government? Am I not among the top leaders of the state? They why did we never get any blessings?" he asked on Wednesday.

Ajit's allegations come in line of the observations by many political pundits who said that Sharad Pawar's resignation bid was merely to quell this exact rebellion at that time and show his strength.

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NCP's Failed Deals With the BJP

Ajit Pawar in his address corroborated the claims of Devendra Fadnavis who in the past has hinted at talks of alliance being held between the two parties. Ajit Pawar said that attempts were made to forge an alliance with the BJP first in 2014 and then in 2017.

He claimed that in 2017, the BJP was not willing to break its alliance with the Shiv Sena and pitched a three-party alliance with the NCP instead. However, Sharad Pawar and other senior leaders did not want to ally with the Shiv Sena which they called a "casteist party."

He then claimed that talks were held in 2019 after the Shiv Sena broke the pre-poll alliance with the BJP and before the formation of the MVA, but Sharad Pawar decided to go with the Shiv Sena instead.

Ajit Pawar asked: "What changed between 2017 and 2019 that a communal party could suddenly be an ally?"

Ajit Pawar claimed that after Eknath Shinde split the Shiv Sena, the NCP MLAs wrote a letter to Sharad Pawar and other seniors to ally with the BJP. A committee of leaders, including Ajit Pawar was formed to hold talks, but Sharad Pawar was not keen on any physical meeting of the committee with the BJP due to the fear of the media.

If all these claims are to be believed, it only goes on to show that the NCP did try get out of the MVA last year when the government fell and that the party was also exploring its options with the BJP in 2019.

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Difference Between the BJP and Shiv Sena, According to Sharad Pawar

Leaders of the faction, since the split, have been claiming that if the NCP can ally with the Shiv Sena, it can ally with the BJP too. Sharad Pawar responded to the claims by saying that the idea of Shiv Sena's Hindutva is not a divisive one, unlike that of the BJP's.

"Yes, Shiv Sena endorses Hindutva but their Hindutva takes everybody together, including the minorities. The BJP's idea of Hindutva, however, is divisive and destructive. It creates differences between human beings."

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Open Admission of Wanting to be 'Chief'

This is arguably the first time Ajit Pawar also openly spoke about his ambitions to "lead the state" for which he "needs to be the chief." He said that he has been the deputy CM five times now but his "vehicle is stuck there."

He said that he needs to be the chief if he has to do certain things for the state and claimed that the party symbol should be with his faction too.

Sharad Pawar, meanwhile, said that it would have been good if Ajit Pawar had consulted the party workers before making any such move and "betraying their trust."

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Ajit Pawar's Warning to Eknath Shinde, BJP

On the lines of Sharad Pawar's speeches, Ajit Pawar spoke a substantial amount about the current issues like caste, communalism, unemployment, and inflation, indicating that he won't "tolerate any discrimination."

"I want to clarify that I will not allow any discrimination, be it against Muslims, Adivasis, the backward classes or women. Do I not see the issues of unemployment and inflation? We need to tackle them. A conducive environment needs to be built to tackle unemployment and that cannot be done while being in the Opposition," he said.

The words were a clear attempt to rebut the Sharad Pawar faction's claims that he joined hands with the kind of party that spreads divide in the society and is against the whole concept of 'rashtravaadi'.

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Topics:  NCP   Sharad Pawar   Supriya Sule 

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