Sharad Pawar’s Surprise Resignation: A Masterstroke or Desperation?

Congress and Uddhav Thackeray, as well as Sharad Pawar’s party and NCP supporters in Maharashtra, were taken aback by his resignation as leader on Tuesday. A few hours later, Sharad Pawar agreed to “rethink” and stated that he required “two-three days” amid a spectacular display of anguish from party members.

NCP leaders flocked to the platform as soon as Sharad Pawar, 82, dropped the shocking revelation during the autobiography presentation on Tuesday afternoon. Many of the leaders pledged to remain in place until the veteran changed his mind while some leaders sobbed.

He reportedly made the statement unexpectedly in front of his wife Pratibha Pawar, daughter Supriya Sule, and nephew Ajit Pawar.

Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar’s political heir, was the sole politician to appear to accept the decision and discuss the future; nevertheless, his recent actions have raised concerns that he may split the party and work with the BJP. If its ally in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, loses the Sena vs Sena case in the Supreme Court and is disqualified along with 15 other MLAs, it is reportedly the BJP’s Plan B.

“Pawar Saheb himself has just discussed the need for a change of guard. We should consider his choice in light of his age and state of health as well. Everyone must make decisions in accordance with the available time; Pawar Saheb has made a decision and won’t change his mind, Ajit Pawar told the party members.

Additionally, he guaranteed that Sharad Pawar would supervise the work of the incoming president.

Ajit Pawar received another communication from his uncle by nightfall. “Sharad Pawar remarked that although I took my decision, I will reconsider it in light of all of you. However, I need two to three days, and I won’t think about it until the workers return to their homes. There have been some resignations from party positions as well, and this should cease, he said.

Sources say Sharad Pawar, who created the party in 1999 after fleeing the Congress, could elect a working president and remain its leader.

Sharad Pawar’s sudden resignation demonstrated his absolute grip over the party once more, sending the wrong message at a time when there are suspicions that his nephew is plotting a mutiny and defections.

The decision to resign from his position restores Mr. Pawar’s status as an elder statesman, both inside his party and among the opposition.

When Mr. Pawar announced his resignation on camera, his party’s MLAs erupted in protest and support. In Maharashtra, the NCP’s allies openly wished for him to change his mind.

The effects of an NCP reorganisation will extend beyond the party to the incredible, ideologically diametrically opposed coalition that Mr. Pawar cobbled together in 2019 to help an Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition win power. Last year, Eknath Shinde, who had ties to the BJP, launched a coup within Uddhav Thackeray’s party, which resulted in his loss of power.

Due to its total reliance on Mr. Pawar, its glue, the opposition alliance is now in a more precarious situation.

One of India’s most clever politicians and a six-decade coalition veteran, Mr Pawar is also a driving force behind efforts to unite the opposition ahead of the 2024 general election. National politics could be significantly more affected by the resolution of the NCP conflict.

With his party duties removed, Mr. Pawar will have more freedom to do what he does best: control the various opposition parties that are vying for his attention.


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