Union minister and Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Thursday said he will be more than happy if NCP leader Ajit Pawar joins his party.
Athawale also said if they get a chance for Maharashtra chief minister’s post, they will give the chance to Pawar.
Responding to queries by reporters here, the RPI(A) chief also said he does not think Ajit Pawar will join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Pawar’s cancellation of some programmes and the fact that he was unreachable on phone gave rise to speculation last Friday about his next move among some political circles.
The NCP leader on Saturday said he cancelled his programmes for Friday as he was unwell after long tours across Maharashtra and asked the media not to speculate on such issues as it caused confusion.
Notably, amid a deadlock over government formation in Maharashtra after the Assembly elections in 2019, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis and NCP’s Ajit Pawar were sworn as the chief minister and deputy CM in a hush-hush early morning ceremony on November 23. Their government lasted only 80 hours.
To a query by reporters, Athawale said, “Ajit Pawar is nephew of (NCP president) Sharad Pawar, he has given multiple portfolios and positions to Ajit Pawar. I think he (Ajit Pawar) was unwell and that’s the reason he was not reachable.” Athawale said he does not think Ajit Pawar will join the BJP.
Ajit Pawar and Devendra Fadnavis are good friends. They once took the oath together to form government in the state, he noted.
“I will be more than happy if Ajit Pawar joins our party. If we get a chance for the CM’s post, we will give that chance to him,” Athawale said.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)