News Brief

Maharashtra: After Loss In Lok Sabha Elections, Ajit Pawar's Wife Sunetra Set To Go To Rajya Sabha Through By-Poll

Swarajya Staff

Jun 13, 2024, 04:42 PM | Updated 04:42 PM IST

Sunetra Pawar.
Sunetra Pawar.

Ending days of suspense, the Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction has now announced that Sunetra Pawar would be their candidate for the Rajya Sabha by-poll to be held on 25 June, as per a report by The Hindu.

Pawar’s election to the Upper House is expected to be unopposed, as the ruling ‘Mahayuti’ coalition – comprising Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Pawar’s NCP — has more than 180 MLAs (BJP 103, NCP 40, Shiv Sena 38) compared to the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) which has only 69 MLAs in the 288-member assembly.

Sunetra Pawar’s entry into Parliament is being viewed as a ‘backdoor’ one by some observers after her significant loss to her sister-in-law Supriya Sule, daughter of NCP(SP) chief Sharad Pawar, in the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency.

In this context, Sunetra Pawar’s entry into Parliament is seen not just as a step towards her political rehabilitation but also as a move to strengthen the Ajit Pawar-led NCP faction against the Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP) in Baramati ahead of the crucial Maharashtra Assembly election later this year.

Incidentally, Parth Pawar had been hoping for a Rajya Sabha nomination, as were senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal and others.

Quashing all speculation of his discontent over not being considered for the Rajya Sabha seat by his party, Bhujbal clarified, “Yesterday [12 June], the NCP’s core committee, including working president Praful Patel and State chief Sunil Tatkare, and other Ministers, met to discuss the candidature. After discussions, we unanimously chose Sunetra Pawar. While I was an aspirant for the seat along with Anand Paranjpe, Baba Siddique, and other leaders, I am not at all upset with Ms. Pawar’s candidature.”

Bhujbal, who has previously been at odds with his party leadership on several issues, denied that the NCP was being used as “a private property” by Ajit Pawar, Sunil Tatkare, and Praful Patel.

“Do you see disappointment on my face? All 13 aspirants for this seat cannot go to the Rajya Sabha. Everyone has to follow the party’s decision. If every person in the party wishes to run it according to his own will, then how will the party function? So, this [to send Sunetra Pawar to the Upper House] is not Ajit Pawar’s decision but that of the party,” he said.

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