Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar has dismissed his estranged nephew Ajit Pawar's suggestion that he resign from active politics, stating that he will continue to work since party workers want him to. "Do you know at what age Morarji Desai became the prime minister? I don't want to become the PM or a minister but only want to serve the people," Pawar said when asked about Ajit's remark that at 83 years, it was time for his uncle to retire.
Asserting that he was not old yet, Pawar echoed former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's words, saying, "Na tired hu, na retired hu." (I am neither tired nor retired). "Who are they to tell me to retire? I can still work," Pawar said in an interview to a digital news channel.
To another query on the succession war in the family after Ajit Pawar's remarks that he was sidelined as he wasn't somebody's (Sharad Pawar's) son, the veteran politician said, “I don't want to say much on this topic. I don't like discussing family issues outside the family.” Pawar said Ajit was made minister and also deputy chief minister but no ministerial position was given to his daughter Supriya Sule even though it was possible. Whenever NCP got a ministerial berth at the Centre, it was given to others but not to Supriya despite her being a member of Parliament, he added.
A week after Ajit and eight other NCP MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde-led ministry in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar is kickstarting his statewide tour by holding a rally on Saturday at Yeola in Nashik district, the constituency of rebel party leader and minister Chhagan Bhujbal. Pawar's choice of Yeola, a small town located 250 km north of Mumbai, to begin his party rebuilding exercise is seen as the octogenarian leader's attempt to rebuild the party.
(With PTI inputs)