Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s remarks on the longevity of his presence in the Eknath Shinde-led Cabinet has set off a buzz in the political corridors, which adds to the speculations of the future of his party’s alliance with the BJP and Shiv Sena following his absence from Amit Shah’s event in Mumbai on Saturday.
In an event on Saturday, NCP leader Ajit Pawar said publicly that he is unsure of how long would he be there in the Cabinet or a finance minister.
“Our institutions should be strong. Today I am the cabinet. Don't know whether I will be there tomorrow or not. The finance department is in my hands, I don't know whether it will be there tomorrow or not. I don't know who has seen tomorrow. But our different institutions should be strong,” he said.
Ajit Pawar was speaking at the annual meeting of Baramati Market Committee in Baramati on Saturday. Ajit Pawar was talking about government schemes and how he himself brings beneficial schemes for his constituency and how his being the Finance Minister would have been beneficial.
His remarks came on the backdrop of skipping Amit Shah’s event where the Union Home Minister, CM Eknath Shinde and Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis visited Ganesh Pandal in Bandra.
Pawar had, however, rejected any speculations regarding his absence from Shah’s programme stating that he had earlier conveyed to Shah’s office regarding his prior engagements.
Speculations were also rife after Pawar said that he would hold discussions with Shinde and Fadnavis regarding the five per cent quota to the Muslims in educational institutions, a move which is likely to cause discomfort among the leaders as Shiv Sena and BJP have been opposed to the idea.
Ajit Pawar had said that the provision of five per cent educational reservation for the minority community had not faced any legal issue (unlike the Maratha reservation).
"I will discuss the issue with Shinde and Fadnavis before taking a decision," Pawar said.
(With inputs by Sachin Bhise)