Sharad Pawar Says" Don't Have Any Problem If Rebel Leaders Return.

Sharad Pawar Says" Don't Have Any Problem If Rebel Leaders Return.

The Nationalist Welfare Trust has properties at different places and I am its president.

My colleagues took a different stand. They can take a political stand.

But staking claim to the original party or its property is not right. I think they will desist from taking this step by heeding their conscience,” Pawar said.

About rebel leader Praful Patel's claim that the organisational structure of the party was "flawed," Pawar pointed out that Patel was an MP and Union minister for ten years.

He also said that he chose Nashik as the first stop in his statewide tour to rebuild the party because it was from here that then chief minister Yashwantrao Chavan was elected unopposed to the Lok Sabha after Jawaharlal Nehru invited him to join the Union cabinet as defence minister post the 1962 India-China war.

Nashik also happens to be the stronghold of Bhujbal.

“I feel bad because I could not assess and my assessment was not right, and I don't blame Bhujbal,” Pawar said when asked about the latter switching his loyalty to the Ajit camp.

Asked whether he will appeal Ajit and other rebel leaders to return, Pawar senior said, “Nothing will be done from my end to escalate tensions if anyone wants to do a rethink, there is no problem.

But these leaders were no longer hatchlings, they had grown "powerful," he said, referring to a Marathi poem.

The NCP was split last week after Ajit Pawar rebelled against his uncle and joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra as deputy chief minister.
Senior party leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Dilip Walse-Patil and many other MLAs too sided with Ajit Pawar.

At the press conference, Sharad Pawar also said that he hoped the rebel group desisted from claiming the NCP’s properties.

Clashes have taken places in some places between the two NCP factions over party offices.

Speaking at a press conference here, the 82-year-old leader also quoted former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to state “I am neither tired nor retired”, and added that if one keeps good health, age does not matter.

On Ajit Pawar's claims that there were discussions within the NCP about joining hands with the BJP several times in the past, Pawar said discussions keep taking place all the time, but that did not mean that the decision to go with the saffron party was ever taken.

Pawar on Saturday said he does not have any problem if the rebel faction led by his nephew Ajit Pawar does a rethink and returns to the party fold.