Sharad Pawar a challenger to Modi-Shah duo?

Deccan Chronicle.

Nation, Current Affairs

The astute role Mr Pawar played in ousting the BJP from power in Maharashtra will play a key role at the national level, political observers said.

Sharad Pawar

Mumbai: The Maharashtra developments could be the precursor to major changes in national politics, as NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has emerged as the biggest leader who can take on the Modi-Shah duo in the country.

With the Nationalist Congress Party hit by multiple desertions ahead of the Assembly polls, Mr Pawar assumed charge of the campaign and traversed the state. His efforts paid off, with the party winning 54 seats, 13 more than its 2014 tally in the 288-member House.

However, he faced his biggest challenge when he faced a revolt within his own family. As he focused his efforts on forming the government with the Shiv Sena and the Congress, his nephew Ajit Pawar shocked him by aligning with the BJP to form the government.

However, the shrewd politician that he is, Mr Pawar played his cards very smartly, which led to Ajit Pawar resigning as deputy CM on Tuesday, citing personal reasons, leaving Devendra Fadnavis high and dry. Within hours, Mr Fadnavis also resigned, paving way for a non-BJP combine to come to power in the state.

The astute role Mr Pawar played in ousting the BJP from power in Maharashtra will play a key role at the national level, political observers said. He is one of the few politicians to enjoy support from parties across regions and ideologies. “The triumph in Maharashtra has shown that if the Opposition parties come together, they can dislodge the BJP, and

Sharad Pawar is capable of it,” a senior NCP leader said.

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