Pawar says Fadnavis gave his wicket to his googly

He suggested 'steps were taken to expose how desperate and hungry Fadnavis is for power'.

Credit : Indie Journal


In another revealing press conference, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Supremo Sharad Pawar on Thursday indirectly accepted his role in the 2019 early morning swearing-in ceremony of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar. He suggested that negotiations were indeed held with the BJP and that 'steps were taken to expose how desperate and hungry Fadnavis is for power'.

Fadnavis had recently accused Pawar of backstabbing him back then. 

"All I can say is I bowled a googly and he [Fadnavis] gave away his wicket," answered Pawar after being asked about Fadnavis' allegations.

During the post-election chaos in Maharashtra in 2019, Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar sworn-in in an early morning hush-hush ceremony as CM and DCM respectively on November 23, 2019. Fadnavis however had to resign within the next 80 hours. Eventually, NCP joined Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state. Ajit Pawar went on to become the Deputy Chief Minister in that government until it collapsed in 2022. The NCP Chief was speaking at a press conference in Pune on Thursday after repeated attacks from BJP leaders on his party and family. His comments on Fadnavis' recent remarks, UCC, Manipur, law and order situation in Maharashtra remained the highlights of his interaction.



The interaction started with a commentary on Maharashtra's law and order situation, where he attacked Home Minister and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. It has been one year since Shinde-Fadnavis Government took charge in the state and the law and order situation has deteriorated since, he said.

Presenting data on women's safety, he raised serious questions on Fadnavis' performance as Home Minister. "Attacks on girls and women have increased. I do not have information about all the municipalities in Maharashtra but between January and May 2023, Pune has seen 937 abductions and attacks on women. There are 721 such cases in Thane, 738 in Mumbai and 62 in Solapur. In the Rural districts of Maharashtra such as Buldhana, Pune Rural, Nanded, Beed, Jalgaon, Bhandara, Gondia and Ratnagiri, 4,431 girls or women are missing. In the last one and half years, Maharashtra has registered 6,889 cases of missing girls or women," Pawar said

He advised Fadnavis to take his job seriously and do something about these incidents like these.  

Pawar also clarified NCP will make its stand on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) only after the government makes the recommendations made to Law Commission on the same public.

"The Law Commission had asked for opinions and recommendations on UCC from many organisations. At least 900 organisations have registered their recommendations on the matter. I do not know what they have said. But the Law Commission has maintained silence on these replies. They should first make these recommendations public. Only after that, our party will take a stand on UCC," he said. 

He also blamed BJP for creating communal issues for distracting the common people from the real burning issues such as unemployment, inflation and anger of citizens towards the party.

Giving an explanation behind BJP's these tactics, Pawar said, "Ground Realities of state politics is different. BJP has lost power in most of the states. They do not have any prospects of doing well in the upcoming elections of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. That is why, they are coming up with such issues. PM is unsure about what upcoming elections will bring to BJP, that’s why he is talking about UCC."



Pawar also defended his daughter, MP Supriya Sule, regarding the PM's attack that she is in Parliament only because she is the daughter of Sharad Pawar. He reminded Modi of Sule's performance as a parliamentarian.

"My daughter is a three-time parliamentarian. She has won many awards for her performance. As I don’t attack the PM personally, PM should also respect the Parliament as an institution and shouldn't attack Supriya. His attacks only show his desperation," Pawar said. 

NCP chief also spoke about Manipur violence. He accused both the Central and state governments of not taking any concrete actions for controlling the situation in Manipur. He spoke about the all-party meeting held in Delhi about Manipur violence. Opposition parties have made some suggestions but the government yet to take any action on them, he alleged.

He also schooled Fadnavis for reminding Pawar of his de facto defection from the Congress party to form a government in 1978. 

"Fadnavis was young and was going to school at that time so he might not be aware of full history," Pawar said. 

He also raised his concerns about communal tensions in Maharashtra. Maharashtra in recent days saw communal riots in several places like Kolhapur, Nanded, Akola. "Citizens are not feeling safe in Maharashtra. Law and order are in bad shape," he emphasised.