Maharashtra Politics / Has the merger of NCP with Congress become a compulsion for Sharad Pawar?

Zoom News : Feb 15, 2024, 12:10 PM
Maharashtra Politics: Every party in Maharashtra is a victim of division. Shiv Sena broke up in June 2022. Sena's Eknath Shinde had rebelled and brought down Uddhav Thackeray's government. He reached an agreement with BJP and BJP formed his government. In July 2023, Ajit Pawar broke with NCP and joined the government with BJP. On February 13, former Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan rebelled against his party. He also joined BJP along with his supporters. He also got Rajya Sabha ticket from BJP. In a way, every non-BJP party in Maharashtra is divided and there is mutual discord. However, Supriya Sule has said that her party NCP (Sharad Chandra Pawar) will not merge with Congress. According to him, they will remain in Maha Vikas Aghadi like before and will face the elections.

It is necessary for all anti-BJP parties in Maharashtra to unite. 48 seats of this state are important in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. India Alliance is not expected to get much of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, everyone's eyes are on the second largest state Maharashtra. Due to the way BJP strategists are fueling divisions among the opposition parties of Maharashtra, the very existence of their Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is in danger.

After NCP, split in Congress also

On the lines of this MVA, non-BJP parties had formed the India Alliance. After Shiv Sena and NCP, there was a split in Congress also. And whichever faction broke away joined the BJP alliance (NDA). That's why there is silence within every party. Sharad Pawar's NCP has a way to join BJP but by doing so, its own existence will end. Another way is to go to Congress. It is difficult to find Shiv Sena in Congress. Even though Uddhav Thackeray may have run the government while in MVA, there are many obstacles in Uddhav Thackeray joining Congress. If the mood of his own vote bank is close to BJP, then joining Congress would mean the extinction of his own support base.

However, there are no such problems with Sharad Pawar. He had come from Congress only, then he will go to Congress. But the real problem is his own family. Will his daughter Supriya Sule be able to make the same bargain with Congress that she can make with NCP? Here he is the most powerful leader after Sharad Pawar. But it will take years for him to establish his position in Congress. Right now because of Sharad Pawar he will get preference but what will happen next.

Supriya Sule refuted the speculations

That is why Supriya Sule is continuously refuting the speculations that the NCP (Sharad Chandra Pawar) faction will merge with the Congress. But Sharad Pawar's problem is that he is now 83 years old. A total of 54 of their MLAs had won the assembly elections. One of them has died. Last July, when his nephew Ajit Pawar joined hands with the BJP, he took 41 MLAs with him. In this way, Sharad Pawar is now left with only 11 MLAs. Nawab Malik has not yet clarified which faction he is with.

Two MPs also went with Ajit Pawar. This was the reason why the Election Commission, in its decision given on February 6, had considered Ajit Pawar's faction as the real NCP. The Commission had named the remaining MLAs as NCP (Sharad Chandra Pawar) faction. His election symbol was also given to Ajit Pawar.

Will we be able to establish the organization again?

Now that only a few months are left for the Lok Sabha elections, the question for Sharad Pawar is how will he contest the 18th Lok Sabha? His own party is now about to end and even if he forms a new party, will anything be achieved so soon? His own age is also coming in the way and his nephew leaving him too. There is no doubt that Sharad Pawar is still a monopolistic leader in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. They have penetration in every village. Despite battling a disease like cancer, he returned safely and his memory is also intact. People close to him say that he recognizes the workers who have come from far away places and calls them by their names. This style of his makes him an incomparable leader here. But now will they be able to build the organization again?

Sharad Pawar was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra thrice

Sharad Pawar's politics is more than 60 years old and he has been the most powerful leader of Maharashtra politics for the last 50 years. Without his blessings no one in Maharashtra can reach the post of CM. His guru in politics has been Yashwant Rao Chavan. Sharad Pawar was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra thrice, he was the Defense Minister in the government of Narasimha Rao and was the patron of many Chief Ministers of Maharashtra. A person who had gone from being a village level worker to central politics also aspired to get blessings from him.

But on May 1 last year, when he announced his retirement from politics and leaving the presidency of NCP, everyone was stunned. At the same time, he had also told that he had entered politics on May 1, 1960. His downfall actually started when he left Congress and formed NCP.

Opportunity to become Prime Minister came many times

He was in Congress from the beginning. But in 1999, raising the issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin, he separated from the Congress and formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Along with him, PA Sangma of Meghalaya and Tariq Anwar of Bihar also went to this party. Soon his party got nationwide status. After this, he was made the Agriculture Minister at the Center in the UPA government. In 2004, when the Congress Alliance (UPA) government was formed, it was also said that if Sharad Pawar had not separated from the Congress 5 years ago, perhaps he would have become the Prime Minister in place of Manmohan Singh. Even before this, in 1991 and 1996, he kept becoming the Prime Minister.

After the death of Rajiv Gandhi, when the Congress government was to be formed, he was left behind by a few votes in the Congress Parliamentary Party. After this, if Congress had formed the government after the fall of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 13-day government in 1996, he would have become the PM. But Congress backed the United Front and Deve Gowda became PM.

NCP merger with Congress

It is sad for such a grassroots leader that at the age of 83 he has to find a party for himself. BJP cannot be suitable for them, in such a situation Congress is the only option which can be acceptable to them. Supriya Sule or party general secretary Deshmukh may deny but there is no other option. Congress also needs a leader with roots in Maharashtra due to Ashok Chavan's betrayal, hence there is a possibility that NCP's Sharad Chandra Pawar faction will merge with Congress.

The Commission has given NCP's election symbol Ghadi to Ajit Pawar. Then how will they be able to reach the villages of Maharashtra with the new election symbol? Like him, his nephew Ajit Pawar has made significant inroads in the villages. Obviously, the easiest way for Sharad Pawar to maintain his identity is to go to his old party.