NCP panel picked by Sharad Pawar to choose his successor to meet tomorrow

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The committee comprises senior members like Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil, Anil Deshmukh and others.

A committee of the Nationalist Congress Party leaders picked by Sharad Pawar to pick his successor will meet on Friday at the party headquarters. The veteran leader had named the members of the panel after announcing his decision to step down as the NCP chief on Tuesday.

The committee comprises senior members like Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil, Anil Deshmukh, Rajesh Tope and others.

Pawar’s decision to step down had sent shockwaves among the party workers and cadre, who urged him to take back his decision. After pressure from party cadre mounted, the 82-year-old leader said he would take two-three days to rethink his decision.

“Some of our workers wanted him to withdraw his resignation. Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, I, Chhagan Bhujbal and others – we tried to speak to him today. We requested him again. But as I said, we should give him a day or two..,” NCP leader Praful Patel had said yesterday.

However, the decision to step down has triggered speculations on who will be his successor- daughter Supriya Sule or nephew Ajit Pawar?

The NCP patriarch met party leaders and MLAs for five hours at the YB Chavan Centre on Wednesday. Later, he held another meeting at his Silver Oak residence in the evening. Pawar’s loyalists are said to have requested their leader to continue as party president till his tenure as Rajya Sabha MP in 2026.

HT has learnt that senior party leaders observed that the succession issue will be resolved if Pawar continues as NCP chief with daughter Sule as the working president.

However, focus has now shifted to Ajit Pawar, who was seen vocally supporting Pawar’s decision to step down. There have been reports of some MLAs planning to quit the party along with Ajit to join the BJP in Maharashtra. The ambitious nephew recently said the party was ready to stake claim for the post of Maharashtra chief minister any time.