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Change of guard in NCP soon?

Speculations are rife in political circles that Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule may take over the reins of NCP.

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The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which is on the backfoot after losing the assembly polls is trying to revive itself ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election. According to sources, NCP president Sharad Pawar is likely to groom his daughter Supriya Sule for taking over the reins of the party. Supriya who already has been heading the party’s women’s wing will play a bigger role in the party. Former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal’s arrest in the money laundering scam has been a major setback for NCP. Moreover, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare too find themselves in trouble after their name cropped up in the multi-crore irrigation scam.

According to sources, “Since Sharad Pawar is ageing it is necessary for him to find a successor and Supriya is the right candidate who can take the party forward. She will be in charge of the campaigning activities for the BMC polls.”

Of late Supriya has adopted aggressive stand against the BJP led state government over the ongoing Maratha protests. The comments made by her against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had already grabbed headlines. She had given Fadnavis a two day deadline for filing a charge sheet in the Kopardi teenager’s rape and murder case. Her pressure tactics worked as police have filed a charge sheet against three accused. After the rape incident Marathas have been holding silent protests in various regions of the state demanding justice for the victim.

Thus speculations are already rife in political circles that Supriya is likely to be assigned a larger role in NCP. Since past few months, she has been working hard to strengthen the party at the grassroots level. She has been interacting with party workers and planning strategies for countering the BJP-Shiv Sena in the civic body polls. Supriya is also active on social media and has been posting her views on various issues. Speeches delivered by her have already evoked massive response from crowds. She is also playing a vital role in the empowerment of women in the state. Thus Supriya is finally coming of age and carved a niche for herself in the party.

On the other hand, BJP has termed Supriya’s aggression as a part of succession war in the NCP. Reacting to the remarks, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “This is an indication to other NCP leaders — Ajit Pawar per se — that Supriya is the new successor of party chief Sharad Pawar and thus the chief minister is being targeted for no reason,” Bhandari said.

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