NCP chief Sharad Pawar may have appointed Praful Patil as working president with his daughter (Pawar) Supriya Soli to head off potential allegations over “dynasty politics”, newspaper Shiv Sina said on Monday.

The editorial in the party’s mouthpiece, Saamana, also described the promotion of Soli, a Lok Sabha member, and Patel as acting chiefs of the NCP as a balancing act by Pawar between senior and new leaders.

Besides promoting his daughter as chief operating officer, Pawar gave the same title to Praful Patil. He did this to maintain a balance between the old and new guards in the NCP.

The editorial also noted that the NCP had already lost its status as a national party.

Although Sharad Pawar has said that the appointment of two ‘staff chiefs’ is due to the vastness of the country, no other regional parties have made such appointments. “It might be true,” Cena said.

Referring to Pawar’s announcement of his resignation as NCP chairman last month and subsequent withdrawal of the decision, Samana said it was clear that Soli was going to take over the reins of the party.

But what message is Pawar trying to deliver by appointing Praful Patil as yet another working chief? “Patil may have been promoted to avoid allegations of family politics in the NCP with Sole appointed to the post,” Samanna said.

The editorial said that there was no reference to any new responsibility for Ajit Pawar in the recent decisions taken at the NCP meeting in New Delhi.

Rumor has it that Ajit Daada is disappointed. But he said he was an important player in Maharashtra state politics and was not keen on working outside the state.

Ajit Pawar is the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, Sena said, and a faction of MLAs close to him is said to be tolerant of the BJP.

She said the image of Ajit Pawar – Sharad Pawar’s nephew – turned negative when he was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister with Devendra Vadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party as Chief Minister in November 2019.

However, Ajit resigned after three days and returned to the NCP fold, paving the way for the formation of the Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) with Shiv Sena (undivided) in collaboration with the NCP and Congress.

The edit said, “Ajit Pawar will have to put in a lot of effort to remove the stain (on his photo)”.

Shiv Sena also made a thinly veiled reference to Pawar Kabir saying that he had not made any major changes in the NCP, but had just started a process for himself.

“Supriya Soli will have to pass the test. We will have to wait for some time,” Samana said.


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