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As Challenges & Curses Play Out in Assembly, Ajit Pawar's Failed Past with BJP Returns to Haunt Him

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

In the early hours of November 23, 2019, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari swore in BJP leader Fadnavis as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as Deputy CM. Their government, however, collapsed three days later due to lack of numbers, paving the way for the Shiv Sena-led MVA, supported by the NCP and the Congress, to come to power.

Amid a heated debate in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar on Tuesday reminded deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar about his brief association with the now opposition party prior to the MVA government coming to power last year. During the debate on supplementary demands, Mungantiwar, a former finance minister who initiated the debate, was visibly irked when he was interrupted by a member from the treasury bench.

"Those who disturb me by obstructing my speech in the assembly are never re-elected," the BJP legislator said. At this point, Ajit Pawar, who won with the highest vote margin in the 2019 assembly polls from Baramati in Pune district, countered Mungantiwar.

"Ajit Pawar takes up your challenge. Defeat me in the next election," the NCP leader said. To which Mungantiwar quickly responded, "There are two types of defeats - one is democratic (in polls) and the other is like the one on November 23, 2019," he said, referring to the swearing in of the Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar government.

In the early hours of November 23, 2019, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari swore in BJP leader Fadnavis as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as Deputy CM. Their government, however, collapsed three days later due to lack of numbers, paving the way for the Shiv Sena-led MVA, supported by the NCP and the Congress, to come to power.

first published:December 15, 2020, 21:02 IST