Rajat Sharma


akb fullIn the midst of melodrama that is going on in Sharad Pawar’s NCP, I would like to draw your attention to what Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, said on Tuesday. He said, “Sharad Pawar says, he did not know his leaders were going to quit. This cannot be so. It is all Pawar’s political drama. Top leaders like Dilip Valse Patil, Praful Patel and Chhagan Bhujbal joining the other camp is not an ordinary matter. Today nobody knows who is the rival of whom in Maharashtra. I will not be surprised, If tomorrow Pawar Saheb’s daughter Supriya Sule is made a central minister.” Many in Maharashtra may believe what Raj Thackeray says. The fact is, Ajit Pawar made the ground slip from under his uncle’s feet, and yet the uncle is still to utter a word about his rebel nephew. It is very easy to criticize Praful Patel and Ajit Pawar. You can say, Sharad Pawar made both of them what they are today. The two of them betrayed their mentor. But the question is, from whom did they learn all this? I have seen those days when Sharad Pawar toppled his mentor Vasantdada Patil’s government, 35 years ago, in July, 1978 and himself became chief minister. Vasantdada was Sharad Pawar’s guru, mentor and patron, all rolled into one. Vasantdada Patil was the CM, and Yashwantrao Chavan had formed Congress(U) after walking out from Congress(I). Sharad Pawar was in Congress(U). Janata Party became the single largest party in Maharashtra assembly polls, but in order to keep Janata Party away from power, Congress(I) and Congress(U) joined hands. Sharad Pawar was a minister in the coalition government. Sharad Pawar then did, what Ajit Pawar did on Sunday. Within a few months, Sharad Pawar revolted with the help of Congress(U) MLAs, joined hands with Janata Party, and at the age of 38, became India’s youngest chief minister. Sharad Pawar has been a maestro in ‘roti palto’(flipping the roti), and it seems, Ajit Pawar has learnt this art from his uncle perfectly. I also remember how, two years ago, Sharad Pawar allowed his nephew Ajit to join hands with BJP in a midnight drama, but at the last moment, the NCP chief suddenly retraced his steps, leaving his nephew in the lurch. How can Ajit Pawar forget, it was his uncle who instigated Uddhav Thackeray to betray BJP? How can Ajit Pawar forget, his uncle had decided to run the coalition government with the remote control in his hand? Later, Eknath Shinde learnt this bag of tricks and betrayed Uddhav. In Maharashtra politics, backstabbing, betrayal, toppling governments, splitting parties are not new. Here, everybody lives in glass houses and everybody carries stones. One should understand the final motive. The fact is: Sharad Pawar wants to hand over his party to his daughter, and a revolt was bound to take place. If Lalu can make Teajshwi his heir, if Sonia Gandhi can make Rahul her heir, if Uddhav Thackeray starts handing over his party to his son Aditya, then leaders in these parties will then begin to realize that their doors for the future are closed. Revolts are bound to take place. The second big problem is: party supremos, whether Sharad Pawar or Lalu Yadav or Sonia Gandhi or Uddhav Thackeray, want that the respect and adulation that they got from their party leaders and workers, must also be bestowed on their offspring successors. But, in practical life, it is not so. I have seen Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Pawar and Lalu Yadav untiringly touring villages. They used to walk for miles every day till they had foot sores. They spent their life building their parties, struck personal relationships with their workers, helped them, stood by them in times of happiness and distress, but the successors of the new generation could not do so. You may notice: even today, rebels like Praful Patel and Ajit Patel speak about Sharad Pawar with words of respect. They described Sharad Pawar as their guru, paid obeisance on Guru Purnima, and said, bringing NCP to power was their style of offering ‘guru dakshina’ to their mentor. BJP was the biggest winner and Sharad Pawar was the biggest loser in whatever happened in Maharashtra politics during the last 48 hours. By topping MVA government, BJP took its revenge against Uddhav Thackeray, and now it has repaid Sharad Pawar in the same coin. BJP’s dependence on Eknath Shinde and his MLAs is now less. BJP leadership feels that it will manage to win at least 40 to 45 out of a total of 48 LS seats in Maharashtra next year, and, on the national level, it has spoiled opposition unity efforts badly. And Pawar Saheb? He was considered the great mastermind in Maharashtra politics. He did not know that his top leadership had revolted and almost the entire party has bolted. Sharad Pawar had planned to hand over the party’s reins to his daughter Supriya Sule, and he implemented it dramatically. At a time, when Pawar was thinking about the magical drama that he had enacted and people were praising his masterstroke, Ajit Pawar showed who the real successor war. Now, at the age of 83, with Sharad Pawar battling several illnesses, he may have to toil again, do hard work on the ground, and try to resurrect his party. The ideology of his party was given the go by, the day NCP joined hands with Shiv Sena to form MVA government. Power slipped from his hands, when Eknath Shinde revolted and Pawar Saheb could not do anything. For Pawar, the Bollywood couplet- ‘Caravan Guzar Gaya, Gubar Dekhte Rahey’ appears to be apt. His biggest loss will be, he will lose the pivotal role that he planned to play in forging an anti-Modi opposition front. It is now the Congress that will question his ability and try to limit his role. Congress leaders may now say, if a leader cannot keep his house together, how can he keep a bunch of political parties together? The most amazing part is, people are still saying, Pawar is going to make a comeback, and all the developments that took place in the last two days were part of his game plan. Will Pawar also join BJP? Time will tell. I know both Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel quite closely. Even I had doubts whether both these leaders can do anything without the sanction of Sharad Pawar. Those active in the corridors of power know that Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel were in favour of joining the BJP camp since long. They had spoken to Sharad Pawar about this and the NCP chief had given them the go-ahead. Even publicly, Sharad Pawar had said that those leaders who want to leave NCP and join the BJP were free to do so, but personally, he will not join BJP camp. It means, Pawar had given them indication. He then resigned from party chief post. At that time, it was decided that the NCP command will be given to Ajit Pawar, and Sharad Pawar will play the role of ‘margdarshak’ (adviser), Supriya Sule will focus on politics at the Centre and Ajit Pawar will remain active in Maharashtra. At the last moment, Sharad Pawar changed his view. He withdrew his resignation, and made both Supriya Sule and Praful Patel working presidents. Ajit Pawar was peeved over this development. He felt betrayed. He then decided to ‘palto roti’ (flip the roti), and, in the process, he flipped the entire ‘tawa’ (griddle). This resulted in chaos in both Mumbai and Delhi, and both camps are now busy occupying party offices. Even in such a tense atmosphere, Sharad Pawar appears cool. He has said, he would not make rounds of courts, and will instead go to ‘Janata Ki Adalat’ (people’s court) and show to the world whom the man on the street wants.

Get connected on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Comments are closed.