Ajit Pawar was speaking at a function in his constituency Baramati in Pune district on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Ajit Pawar/Facebook)
NCP leader Ajit Pawar has said while his uncle and party president Sharad Pawar was the state’s chief minister four times, he also “anyhow” became the deputy CM as many times. Ajit Pawar was speaking at a function in his constituency Baramati in Pune district on Saturday.
“I am a party worker who has seen ‘saheb’ (Sharad Pawar) become chief minister four times. I too, anyhow, became deputy chief minister four times,” the 60-year-old leader said, evoking laughter from the audience.
“If saheb can be chief minister four times, why not me (be DyCM),” he said.
Ajit Pawar was deputy chief minister twice in the 15-year regime of Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra during 1999-2014.
Later, he was again sworn in to the post on November 23 last year after he rebelled against the NCP and joined hands with the BJP. He resigned three days later on November 26, leading to collapse of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government.
Ajit Pawar has filed an affidavit in the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court in reply to petitions against him in the multi-crore irrigation scam, terming the allegations as "mala fide". The NCP leader also said in the affidavit filed on Tuesday that there is no requirement for the present investigation to be handed over to the CBI or the ED. The Director General of the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau in an affidavit filed in the High Court in December last year had stated the ACB's inquiry found no involvement of Pawar in the alleged scam in the 12 projects undertaken by the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC).
It was alleged that Pawar, then VIDC chairman, and officials of the corporation colluded with contractors while issuing tenders for projects, causing a loss to the exchequer. The petitioner, Atul Jagtap of Janmanch who has filed 4 PILs in the alleged scam, had filed an application in the HC seeking CBI enquiry into the matter. The hearing of which is still going in the court and the next hearing is scheduled this week.