Ajit Pawar repeats family history in Maharashtra

It remains to be seen how far Ajit Pawar's present reign as deputy CM will go. Photo/Twitter (@AjitPawarSpeaks)

In a surprising twist in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar's nephew and NCP leader Ajit Pawar extended support to the BJP and became deputy chief minister of the state.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar did something similar to shake up the government in 1978, according to a report in The Quint.

In the 1977 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party had lost to the Janata Party. Maharashtra Congress Chief Minister Shakarrao Chavan then resigned and Vasantdada Patil became the chief minister.

The Congress party subsequently underwent a division and the two factions contested the 1978 Assembly elections separately. The Janata Party got the most seats but did not have a majority. The Congress factions then came together and formed a government with Sharad Pawar as the Minister of Industry and Labour.

The government would not make it far. Pawar left the Congress in July 1978 and formed his own party named the Indian Congress (socialist). And the Congress government fell as a result.

On July 18, 1978, Pawar was sworn in as Maharashtra Chief minister at the age of 38, with the support of the Janata Party, in an alliance named the progressive democratic coalition.
Pawar's tenure would be cut short after Indira Gandhi’s government was formed in the 1980 Lok Sabha polls. Pawar’s government was then dismissed. 

The Congress party would go on to get a majority in the 1980 elections with AR Antulay emerging as the chief minister.

It remains to be seen how far Ajit Pawar's present reign as deputy CM will go. 


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