Many are calling the early morning development in Maharashtra as BJP’s ‘surgical strike’ or ‘political coup’. What everyone wants to know is how Sharad Pawar is thinking about the shocking news. News agency ANI on Saturday reported that the NCP chief was aware about everything. “NCP Chief Sharad Pawar was part of discussions for Devendra Fadnavis led Maharashtra Govt formation, he had given his assent to Ajit Pawar,” the ANI reported quoting sources. “Ajit Pawar is the leader of Parliamentary board of NCP and no decision of NCP is taken without Sharad Pawar’s assent,” the news agency further added.
Buzz was strong about the possible alliance from the time Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Officially, the agenda of the meeting was to discuss farmers’ issues, however, sources say that it was about Maharashtra.
On November 20, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah after his meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Parliament. Shah, along with Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman, was also present in the meeting, according to sources. The back-to-back discussions sparked a flurry of speculations over the political implications of these meeting as the impasse over government formation in Maharashtra continued.
However, Pawar had reiterated that his meeting was focussed on the issues being faced by farmers in Maharashtra. He apprised the prime minister of the farmers' distress in his home state. However, the meeting was always expected to generate political buzz as it came amid uncertainty over the government formation in the Maharashtra.
At that time, it was reported that the BJP had reportedly offered the NCP positions in the Union cabinet and the post of president for Sharad Pawar in 2022, when the tenure of President Ram Nath Kovind ends. On Tuesday, Shiv Sena leaders told NDTV that the Pawar was being pursued by the BJP and the post of president of India "was on the table".
In the October 21 Maharashtra polls, the BJP-Sena saffron alliance secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress and the NCP won 44 and 54 seats respectively. However, BJP and Shiv Sena later fell out over issues like the chief minister's post and power-sharing arrangement.