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You’ve nothing but my photo, Sharad blasts Ajit

You’ve nothing but my photo, Sharad blasts Ajit

Ajit Pawar also blamed Sharad Pawar for NCP losing out on the chance to have a chief minister in 2004 (Illustration by Varghese Kallada)

MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday objected to his big photo adorning the stage at a parallel meeting of the party convened by his nephew Ajit Pawar and said those using his image are aware that they have nothing else.

Addressing separate meetings, their first after the July 2 split in the 24-year-old party, Sharad Pawar criticised his nephew Ajit Pawar for joining the Shiv Sena-BJP government as they took a jibe at each other over the former’s age and use of his photo.

Addressing a meeting at Chavan Centre in south Mumbai, where around a dozen of 53 NCP MLAs were present, 83-year-old Pawar criticised his nephew for going with BJP for power, despite PM Narendra Modi calling NCP a corrupt party.

On Ajit Pawar-led faction approaching Election Commission and staking claim to the party symbol, the veteran politician assured his supporters that he wouldn’t allow anyone to snatch the party symbol.

“Just a few days ago, they (Ajit Pawar) derided chief minister Eknath Shinde, saying they haven’t seen such a CM in all these years, but today they have joined him,” Sharad Pawar said.

Recalling his connection with the masses when he set up NCP in 1999, Pawar said, “Today we may not be in power, but we are in people’s hearts.”

Pawar’s daughter and NCP working president also took objection to the use of senior Pawar’s photos by the rival camp. “Some people are saying that people who are senior now should give us blessings. Why should they stop working? Ratan Tata is 86 years old. Serum Institute’s Cyrus Poonawala’s age is 84. Amitabh Bachchan is 82...,” she said, also naming Warren Buffet and Farooq Abdullah.

BJP leaders retire at 75, Pawar junior taunts 83-yr-old senior, flaunts 35 MLAs

Surrounded by party workers, including 35 of NCP's 53 MLAs, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday reminded his 83-year-old uncle Sharad Pawar that it was time for him to retire.

"In BJP, leaders retire at 75; when are you going to stop," Ajit Pawar said, speaking at the meeting convened by him in suburban Bandra as a show of strength.

"Everybody has his innings. The most productive years are from 25 to 75 years, 63-year-old Ajit Pawar said.

He also blamed Sharad Pawar for NCP losing out on the chance to have a chief minister in 2004.

"We had more MLAs than Congress in 2004, but our senior leader allowed Congress to bag the CM's post," he said.

"For us, Saheb (Sharad Pawar) is a deity, and we have deep respect for him," he said.

"MAS officers retire at 60 Even in politics, BJP leaders retire at 75. You can see the example of LK Advani and Murli Manchar Joshi," Alit Pawar said.

"You are 83; aren't you going to stop? Give us your blessings, and we will pray that you live a long life," Ajit Pawar said.

Five of eight NCP MLCs also attended the meeting held in suburban Bandra, party sources claimed.

According to tonner principal secretary of Maharashtra Legislature Amant Kalse, At Pawar's camp needs the support of at least 36 MLAs to avoid disqualification. The Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP has also approached the Election Commission, filing over 40 affidavits of MLAs and MPs in his support, it is learned.

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