Went to The Washroom, Says NCP’s Ajit Pawar a Day After Exiting Party Meet Midway

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A day after walking off the stage at a meeting of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), its leader Ajit Pawar denied speculation of rift in the party and also refuted reports that he left the meeting because he was not allowed to speak.

Ajit Pawar was seen exiting a stage in front of his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other senior party leaders at the meeting on Sunday. Sharad Pawar was named chief of the party for four more years at the two-day event – NCP’s national convention meeting.

Ajit Pawar reportedly chose to leave when his turn to address the event was supposed to come and when NCP’s Maharashtra chief Jayant Patil was invited to speak. Only Jayant Patil and Sharad Pawar addressed the meeting while Ajit Pawar’s exit sparked murmurs of rift.

Reacting to the speculation, Ajit Pawar on Monday said no one had stopped him from speaking and he, instead, went to the washroom.

Asserting that it is only the presidents who speak at such party events, Ajit Pawar said: “Due to paucity of time, several leaders including me did not speak. Not just me, Sunil Tatkare, Vandana Chavan also did not speak. Media misrepresented it. I had clarified it to Marathi media yesterday itself. Should I not even go to the restroom?”

NCP Member of Parliament (MP) Praful Patel had announced on the stage that Ajit Pawar will speak before Sharad Pawar’s concluding remark but the former deputy Chief Minister was missing from his seat.

It was later on announced by Praful Patel that Ajit Pawar had excused himself to go to the washroom and will come back for the speech in front of cadres who raised slogans in support of the former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, NCP MP Supriya Sule was seen convincing Ajit Pawar to return for his speech on the stage.

When Ajit Pawar entered the meeting venue, party veteran Sharad Pawar had already started his concluding remarks after which the former didn’t get any chance to speak.

In 2019, while Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra were still discussing the alliance, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on November 23, 2019, took oath as Chief Minister with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy. The two were sworn in at an early morning ceremony but the government lasted only 80 hours.

(With inputs from agencies)

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