‘They tried but failed to lure Sharad Pawar’: Jayant Patil on Praful Patel’s claims

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (SP) state President Jayant Patil on Friday said that the rival Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party made attempts to lure Sharad Pawar on its side, but failed.

Patil said that Sharad Pawar did not compromise on his ideology and principles and hence he would never side with the Bharatiya Janata Party or the ruling MahaYuti.

“They tried a lot to take him (Sharad Pawar). But he has always been clear on his ideological principles and would never support the BJP. Despite the claims by the (rival) NCP, has anybody gone there,” asked Patil.

On the BJP’s claims that the NCP (SP) is a “fake”, Patil laughed and said it was strange that first they break a party and then call the original party a fake, as they did with the (undivided) Shiv Sena which split in June 2022, followed by the (undivided) NCP that broke up in July 2023.

In this context, he referred to certain statements made by (ruling) Shiv Sena MP Gajanand Kirtikar’s claims about why the party broke up, and said the people must take cognisance of the same.

Patil’s statements came after NCP’s Working President Praful Patel, MP, claimed that in July 2023, Sharad Pawar was “50 per cent” prepared to extend support to the BJP after his nephew Ajit Pawar split the party to join the ruling MahaYuti government.

However, Sharad Pawar dithered at the last minute and it did not materialise, contended Patel.

He added that while Ajit Pawar took oath as Deputy CM on July 2, 2023, a fortnight later, the breakaway faction leaders met Sharad Pawar in Mumbai and Pune, but the latter was reluctant at the last minute.

Top NCP (SP) leaders, including Sharad Pawar, Jayant Patil, Clyde Crasto, Mahesh Tapase and others, dismissed Patel’s statements as “blatant lies” terming it as a deliberate attempt by the rival NCP leader to sow confusion in the minds of the people ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections.

The NCP (SP) has cautioned that the people of the state are observing all these things very closely and as the polls approach, the party remains committed to public welfare under Sharad Pawar Saheb’s leadership and “the voters will choose wisely”, Patil said.

IANS

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