Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempt to form a government with his nephew and NCP leader Ajit Pawar had one benefit as it ended the President’s Rule in Maharashtra in 2019. Addressing a press conference at Pimpri Chinchwad, Pawar said had the exercise not happened, the President’s Rule would have continued in the state.
He was replying to a question about Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fandavis’s claim that the formation of the government with Ajit Pawar had the backing of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
“There was an attempt to form a government. One benefit of that exercise was that it helped to lift the President’s Rule in Maharashtra and everyone has witnessed what happened after that,” said Pawar.
Asked if he was aware of the formation of such a government and why Ajit Pawar is tight-lipped on the issue, the NCP chief wondered if there was a need to speak about it. “I just said that had this kind of exercise not happened, would the President’s Rule have been lifted? Had the President’s Rule not been lifted, would Uddhav Thackeray have been sworn in as the chief minister?” he asked. In one of the biggest political surprises in Maharashtra, then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had sworn in Fadnavis as chief minister and Ajit Pawar as deputy CM in an early morning ceremony on November 23, 2019.
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But the government lasted just three days, after which Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as chief minister with the backing of the NCP and Congress.