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Sharad Pawar’s decision to withdraw resignation influenced by Opposition leaders

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Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar addresses the media at the Y. B. Chavan Center, in Mumbai on May 5, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Senior politician Sharad Pawar’s decision to take back his resignation as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president was not only due to the committee’s decision and pressure from the party leadership at all ranks but also in response to the request of Opposition leaders in the country to ensure unity ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections.  

According to a close confidant of Mr. Pawar, who spoke to The Hindu, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray, Aam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and other chief ministers and Opposition leaders urged the NCP patriarch to reconsider his ‘sudden and surprising’ decision in the larger interest of Opposition unity.   

Also Read | Deciphering the ‘Pawar game’ 

“After getting calls from several national leaders like Mr. Gandhi, Ms. Banerjee, and of course pressure from our party leaders and workers, he was compelled to reconsider his resignation and continue to lead for the growth of the organisation and take the party’s ideology and goals to the people,” he said.  

Apart from having a telephonic conversation with Mr. Pawar, DMK president and Tamil Nadu CM Mr. Stalin also took to Twitter and told the former that his continuing in the post was crucial in strengthening the “secular alliance” across the country. 

“With national politics centered around the upcoming 2024 general elections, I request, Thiru. Sharad Pawar, one of the tallest leaders, crucial in strengthening secular alliance across India, to reconsider his decision to relinquish the President post of Nationalist Congress Party – NCP and continue to lead NCP,” M.K. Stalin Tweeted.  

When asked about Mr. Pawar’s earlier statement of paving the way for the younger generation to lead the party, the NCP leader, who was a member of the committee constituted to decide on the issue of the party’s national president, said “When the future generation itself – workers and young leaders – want him to lead the party, what can he do? He had no other options, but to reconsider his decision.”  

“Everyone knows that Pawar saheb plays a crucial role in the Opposition and is the only person who can bring all Opposition leaders, including Congress and ideologically opposite Shiv Sena (UBT), onto a single platform and put a united fight against the NDA government,” the NCP leader said.  

When asked about ‘future plans’ of Mr. Pawar’s nephew and NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who is speculated of considering an understanding with the BJP, and his absence during the party supremo’s media briefing, the NCP leader refused to respond but said ‘It remains open’.   

“Even junior Pawar is unpredictable, and his thoughts are hard to decipher, just like his uncle. However, the events of the last three days have shown that even at 83, Mr. Pawar has complete command over the party and its workers. This fact is evident to those who may be considering switching their loyalty,” said another leader, adding that if Mr. Pawar hadn’t reconsidered his decision, the party would have crumbled.  

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