As the Maharashtra government formation took a turn early morning today and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra while Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the new Deputy Chief Minister, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday said Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and his daughter and Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule should join the Union Cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and help strengthen the country and the Bharatiya Janata Party government with their experience and knowledge.
“Now, I call upon Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule to join the cabinet, Pawar Saheb can be given some crucial portfolio and with his vast knowledge and experience, can contribute to strengthen the government and the country,” Athawale said.
Athawale claimed, Sharad Pawar may have been informed by the BJP and told to keep quiet and let things continue as per the wishes of the people of the state and country.
His statement came just hours after Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar was appointed deputy CM while the Shiv Sena and Congress were left baffled after an announcement on Friday night that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be the next Chief Minister.
“This is a big setback and a lesson for the Shiv Sena which was not willing to form government with the BJP… Even I am surprised at the speed at which the BJP government with NCP took office today, but I was anticipating it,” Athawale told mediapersons.
Although Pawar termed the move by the NCP leader Ajit Pawar to form a government with the BJP as “his personal decision and not of the NCP”.
“We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his,” Sharad Pawar said, indicating a vertical split in the NCP, though the complete details are yet to emerge.
Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and Pawar will discuss the issues and address a press conference on Saturday, later.