'NCP has split, not our family', asserts Ajit Pawar’s ‘bua’ Saroj Patil

NCP has split, not our family, asserts Ajit Pawar’s ‘bua’ Saroj Patil

Saroj Patil, the elderly sister of Nationalist Congress Party (SP) President Sharad Pawar, asserted on Thursday that “only the party has split, not the Pawar family".

Kolhapur (Maharashtra): Saroj Patil, the elderly sister of Nationalist Congress Party (SP) President Sharad Pawar, asserted on Thursday that “only the party has split, not the Pawar family".

At the same time, she also gently tweaked the ears of her nephew, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit A. Pawar, for his recent slur targeting her brother Sharad Pawar.

“I want to make it clear that there is no division in the Pawar family… Only the party has split, not our family. We are a very cultured and close family. Nobody needs to worry about this,” Saroj Patil told the media here on Thursday.

Targetting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has allied with Ajit Pawar’s NCP, Saroj Patil said, “They just want to unseat Supriya Sule (Sharad Pawar’s daughter) and get Sunetra Ajit Pawar elected."

“The BJP wants to oust Supriya Sule from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat and get Sunetra elected in her place… They think that Sharad Pawar can be ‘finished’ by this. However, the work done by Sharad Pawar, and the peoples’ love and affection for him are also equally important,” she said.

When queried about the severe criticism of Ajit Pawar by his brother Shriniwas A. Pawar earlier this week, she said “all this is political and election-oriented… After the elections are over, these clouds will disappear and everything will be normal”.

“We are highly united as a family… Whenever we meet, we keep politics out of the house along with the footwear. Whoever has to win will win the elections. We don’t discuss all this at home,” Patil said, adding that she is saddened by the current political developments.

She recalled an incident involving her husband, the veteran politician and ex-minister late N.D. Patil of the Peasants & Workers Party (PWP), who used to visit the Pawar household regularly.

When N.D. Patil, who hailed from a modest background, stood for elections once, Saroj Patil and Sharad Pawar’s mother, the late Shardabai Govindrao Pawar, had quietly thrust Rs 10,000 in his hands.

“My mother always taught us, 'don’t keep crying over things, move ahead'… She also understood N.D. Patil’s situation and helped him out. They were always more worried about our welfare than their own (whether I have everything on my plate...),” Saroj Patil said.

Making an oblique reference to Ajit Pawar’s comments after the NCP split that “Sharad Pawar is 83 years old and should gracefully retire… sit at home and do bhajan-kirtan, guide the gen-next”, Saroj Patil said she was upset by the remarks.

She, however, tried to defend Ajit Pawar saying he was a 'very sensitive boy' and though it came out of his mouth, “he must have regretted it”, though it was all very discouraging.

Saroj Patil’s observations came amid the huge controversy that has gripped the powerful Pawar clan -- the battle for Baramati and a likely poll war between ‘nanand’ (Supriya Sule) and ‘bhabhi’ (Supriya Ajit Pawar), making it among the most-awaited contests in the country.

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