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Manjhi accepted into cabinet, NCP rejected… Is BJP no longer dependent on Ajit Pawar?

Nita Yadav

By Nita Yadav

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Leaders of Maharashtra with PM Modi.

Narendra Modi has taken oath as the Prime Minister for the third time in a row. All the constituent parties of NDA except NCP have got place in Modi government 3.O. Jitan Ram Manjhi, who won one seat, has been sworn in as a cabinet minister in the Modi cabinet. Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare were in the ministerial race from the Ajit Pawar group’s NCP quota, but the NCP did not join the Union Cabinet due to non-availability of cabinet posts. The BJP offered NCP the post of Swatantra Prabhari (Minister of State), which Ajit Pawar did not agree to. The NCP was not included in the Modi government 3.0 cabinet, which begs the question, is the BJP no longer dependent on Ajit Pawar?

Ajit Pawar’s NCP is part of the NDA alliance. Ajit Pawar’s party NCP contested elections in Maharashtra along with BJP. NCP could win only one Lok Sabha seat. Sunil Tatkare has become an MP from NCP and Praful Patel is a Rajya Sabha MP.

The BJP and the NCP offered him a minister of state post with an independent charge in the Modi cabinet, which Ajit Pawar did not accept. Ajit Pawar said that Prafull Patel has worked as a Cabinet Minister at the Centre. In such a situation we did not think it appropriate to take the position of independent in charge. That is why we are ready to stay for a few days, but we want a cabinet ministership. That is why he refused the post of Minister of State with independent charge in the Cabinet. NCP leader Praful Patel has also said the same.

This scheme did not succeed in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra politics, BJP brought Ajit Pawar with it for political purpose, but he did not succeed in it. Ajit Pawar’s NCP has won just one of the four seats and a total vote share of 3.6 percent. By winning 8 out of 10 seats in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar has completely ended the ‘who is the real NCP’ debate. Thus, question marks were raised on the political future of Ajit Pawar and his NCP.

Ajit Pawar’s move to join hands with the BJP after the Lok Sabha election results has not only threatened the fate of NCP MLAs affiliated with him. Not only that, Jitan Ram Manjhi, who won a seat in Bihar, has been made a cabinet minister, but the NCP was offered an independent charge instead of a cabinet post in the Modi government. NCP has not accepted this. Although Ajit Pawar was present at the swearing-in ceremony, no minister was made from his party. In such a situation, how did Ajit Pawar and his NCP reach where they are now?

Every wish of Ajit Pawar came true

In Maharashtra, after Uddhav Thackeray broke away from the NDA and joined the opposition camp, the BJP not only joined forces with Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde but also handed over the reins of power in the state. After this, Ajit Pawar, who rebelled against Sharad Pawar, joined him in June 2023. Ajit Pawar took over the NCP and joined hands with the BJP to become the Deputy Chief Minister in Maharashtra.

Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena was very disappointed as Ajit Pawar took important divisions for his party. Along with being the Deputy CM and holding the Finance Ministry, Ajith himself gives the NCP important portfolios in the Cabinet like agriculture, food, consumer affairs, women and child development, sports, medical education and disaster management. Ajit Pawar also took charge as the Guardian Minister of Pune region. BJP fulfilled all the wishes of Ajit Pawar.

Ajit Pawar’s faction got the party name and the ‘clock’ election symbol due to the decisions of the Election Commission and the Speaker. This was used to reinforce the argument of a ‘real NCP’. BJP believed that Ajit Pawar would be politically suitable for them in Maharashtra. Ajit Pawar’s party got four Lok Sabha seats during the seat distribution for the Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, NCP was contesting on 19 seats, while Ajit Pawar was with his uncle Sharad Pawar.

In 2019, there was a direct fight between BJP and NCP (United) on 8 seats, in that election NCP joined hands with Congress and BJP allied with Shiv Sena (United). In 2019, BJP won 7 out of 8 seats in direct competition between BJP and NCP. In this election, after the defection of Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar contested on a total of 10 seats, of which he won 8 seats. There are 5 seats in which there was competition between BJP.

Chaos spread after the election results

It is clear from the 2024 election results that the NCP’s traditional votes did not transfer to the BJP, as Devendra Fadnavis had expected when he formed an alliance with Ajit Pawar. Ajit Pawar’s political hangover has ended with Sharad Pawar’s NCP’s stellar performance in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Maharashtra BJP faced its own struggles as it won only nine of the 27 Lok Sabha seats compared to 23 in 2019.

Devendra Fadnavis’ strategy is largely seen as a political blunder. He has offered to resign as deputy CM to ‘work fully to revive the fortunes of the BJP’ before the next elections. Eknath Shinde’s position in the NDA alliance looks to be getting stronger as his strike rate is the best among the three parties. Also, he has a tough battle with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena (UBT).

Shinde’s Shiv Sena has secured a significant vote share of 13 percent despite contesting in fewer seats than Uddhav’s Shiv Sena. Shinde’s Shiv Sena has managed to win seven seats, but Ajit Pawar’s party has managed to win only one seat. Considering the political gains and losses, the BJP now offered Ajit Pawar’s party the post of Minister of State with an independent charge, as the politics in the Lok Sabha did not go well for the BJP. After seeing the results of Lok Sabha Elections 2024, BJP has realized the political importance of Ajit Pawar and based on that offered him a ministerial post.

Nita Yadav

Nita Yadav

I am Nita Yadav, specializing in writing about politics and breaking national news. My focus is on delivering insightful and timely perspectives on these crucial topics, aiming to inform and engage my readers effectively.

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