Nashik, July 8, 2023- A week after the Nationalist Congress Party dramatic vertical split, the founder-President Sharad Pawar admitted that he ‘slipped’ and failed to gauge the crisis brewing up in the party, here on Saturday.
“I miscalculated… I did not realise the developments taking place in the party. I am not pointing fingers at anybody (for the split) and I accept the full responsibility for it,” said Pawar, in an emotional tug at the masses while addressing a rally in Yeola town.
He declared that he had not come to Nashik to criticise anybody, but instead seek the forgiveness of the people of the district – who had always supported him – for the manner in which the NCP had split behind his back and he remained in the dark.
A week after the NCP broke up with Ajit Pawar and others joining the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government, Sharad Pawar kicked off his state-wide political tour from Yeola – the bastion of his former aide Chhagan Bhujbal, who also deserted the party.
Referring to the 64-year-old Ajit Pawar’s comments last Wednesday virtually pushing his 83-year-old Uncle Sharad Pawar to a ‘marg-darshak’ role, the latter reacted sharply at his rally today.
“Those who comment on my age should beware… they will have to pay heavily for it,” warned Pawar.
Earlier, he had said, “I am neither tired, nor retired, but full of fire,” indicating that the NCP’s supremo was back to doing what he is adept at – fighting – to save or salvage the party.
After the huge rally, Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule, MP, General Secretary and MLA Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Dr. Amol Kolhe, actor-turned-MP, grand-nephew and MLA Rohit Pawar and other senior leaders got a thundering reception from thousands of people and party workers lining up the roads and also in Nashik, Yeola and other places they visited.
The vehicles of the visiting leaders were blocked by the teeming crowds, Sharad Pawar and Sule were virtually mobbed by workers and admirers who offered them flowers or garlands, tried to shake hands or touch them, and giving a tough time to the police and security personnel. (Agency)