Mumbai: In a sign of thawing ties, NCP leader Supriya Sule on Wednesday welcomed her cousin and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar to the oath-taking ceremony of new Maharashtra MLAs with a warm hug. As cameras tried to capture the moment, Sule clarified that she never had any rift with her ‘dada’, who stunned the NCP by engineering a midnight coup with the BJP to ensure a stunning comeback for Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister, though the government lasted just three days.
Speaking to the media, Sule said: “I have never had a rift with (Dada) Ajit Pawar... everyone has a role in the party... it is their duty to carry the party forward.”
On Tuesday, Fadnavis tendered his resignation after Ajit Pawar pulled the plug on the alliance, which had seen NCP supremo Sharad Pawar distance himself from his nephew. Buoyed by the success of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine to wrest power from the BJP in a dramatic twist to the month-long saga in the state, the alliance chose Uddhav Thackeray as its chief ministerial face.
Sule’s softened stance is a far cry from her public outburst at her cousin following his rebellion. The NCP leader, through a series of WhatsApp statuses, first announced that the "party and family split", which was followed by another post where she said "she never felt so cheated in life". The status trail continued on Sunday with Pawar's MP daughter talking about her "difficult times", "standing for good values" and "victory of value".
She later posted an old interview of Devendra Fadnavis, where the BJP leader was heard saying that he will remain unmarried but will "never, never, never marry with NCP". The dig at BJP was followed by personal values, where she stressed on life-long relationship sans the hunger for power. This WhatsApp status was updated with a picture featuring Shiv Sena members, including Aaditya Thackeray.