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Supriya Sule: The new face of NCP?

I think, the time has come and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) may declare Supriya Sule as Sharad Pawar’s political heir. In the recent past during cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered her to join the NDA as a minister but she turned down the proposal that has sparked speculation that she is being projected as the new face of the party that her father, Sharad Pawar founded. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena constantly is bad-mouthing Modi and the BJP, the latter can hardly be faulted for looking for an alternative to Sena from Maharashtra. There are probabilities, NCP and BJP may go hand in hand by agreeing to the terms that Supriya Sule would be the CM or deputy CM as per the seat and vote shares in 2019. Pawar, an ambitious politician had to give up many of his aspirations but now his only aim is to see his power in power corridors with prominent position. Not joining NDA government, Sule has shown the maturity and this can strengthen the moral of NCP, which has followed secular ideology.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has been causing serious awkwardness to its alliance partner BJP by opposing the latter’s key policies like demonetisation of high value currency, the non-allotment of an additional berth in the Union Cabinet. Uddhav and Shiv Sena have revelled in mocking the BJP while continuing to be a junior partner in the coalition in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena leans on the BJP for survival in the municipal corporation in Mumbai but its acrimony towards Sena is open and vicious. On the other hand, NCP and Pawar have been cosying up to the BJP sidelining their long-time partner Congress. Uddhav Thackeray is irked that the BJP does not give him the kind of mileage that he deserves as a coalition partner. Perhaps, that’s true. But can he force it out of the BJP especially when he is so scathing in criticising Modi government’s policies. Uddhav can hardly lose track of the fact that the BJP and Shiv Sena had fought the electoral battle in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections separately after they parted ways and it was the first time the BJP was able to emerge much stronger. Again, in 2019, if Sena ties with the BJP continue to remain strained, such an eventuality may arise. Whatever the BJP may say, it is looking for an alliance with NCP if the former snap ties with Sena again.

The political equations may change in 2019 as Maharashtra might witness a new alliance. If NCP and BJP go together, then Supriya Sule will have a bright future in state politics. She is the key NCP leader, born to Sharad and Pratibha Pawar. After marriage she spent some time in California, where she studied water pollution at University of California, Berkeley. Subsequently she moved to Indonesia and Singapore and then returned to Mumbai. Sule was elected to the Rajya Sabha in September 2006 intake from Maharashtra and is a trustee of the Nehru Centre in Mumbai. She led the state level campaign against female foeticide that included padayatras, college events, competitions, etc. Under the guidance of her father, she has learned the political skills and at times mastered in her representations.

In 2012, under the leadership of Supriya Sule the wing named Rashtrawadi Yuvati Congress was formed to give platform to young girls in politics.

In April 2010, Sule denied allegations of financial links between her family and IPL (India’s largest cricket league body), when reports on Indian Premier League (IPL) irregularities in its ownership and functioning surfaced and led India’s Minister of State for External Affairs to resign. However, there were reports that her husband owned (via a Power of Attorney from his father) 10 per cent of a firm that had exclusive multi-year broadcasting rights of IPL matches. Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule owned 16.22 per cent of a firm that had bid for the Pune franchise of IPL. Though, Supriya maintained that her husband or her family had nothing to do with these issues (the IPL bids) and they always stay miles away from it.

For Yashwantrao Chavan (first Chief Minister of Maharashtra), Pawar was his ‘manasputra’ (mind-born son or political heir). However, time has decided who will be Pawar’s political heir in future. The NCP was formed in May 25, 1999 by Sharad Pawar, P. A. Sangma, and Tariq Anwar after they were expelled from the Indian National Congress (INC) on May 20, 1999 for disputing the right of Italy-born Sonia Gandhi to lead the party. At the time of formation, the party also absorbed Indian Congress (Socialist), which traced its origins to anti-coalition partner in Maharashtra in alliance with INC. Despite the party being founded on opposition to the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, NCP has gone into coalition with the Congress party to form government on numerous occasions at State as well as federal level. On June 20, 2012, P. A. Sangma quit the NCP to contest in presidential polls.

The NCP stands for upholding the democratic secular society along with equality, social justice and unity in the nation. It believes that the integrity of India can be achieved by strengthening federalism and decentralising power up to the village level. It believes in empowering the weaker sections of the society, especially the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the OBCs. NCP is a strong proponent of the universal disarmament policies, which alone can bring in peace in the country. The party believes that economic growth in the country can be achieved only through competition, self-reliance, individual initiatives which cater to the demands of social justice and non-discrimination. It believes in eradicating unemployment, starvation, communalism, exploitation from the society. NCP adheres to the concept of a stable government which should be free of corruption at all costs. But its own leader carries corruption charges; Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar had to resign as deputy CM on the charges of corruption, his party leaders continue to be languished in jail on corruption charges. Anyways, politicians and politics is never a fair play, still we have to depend on lesser evil. Let’s wait and watch how this new face of NCP brings changes in state politics.

 (Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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