Lok Sabha polls: Baramati big battle looms as Supriya Sule versus Sunetra Pawar buzz grows

Two months ago, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was asked whether his faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would field a candidate against his cousin Sharad Pawar’s daughter from Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, the stronghold of the Pawar family. Supriya Sule, who is the sitting MP, said, “As the party president, I have the right to announce my party’s candidates, but I cannot comment on who will contest against them. I will announce the names ” Candidates at the right time.”

Sunetra Pawar vs supriya pawar

The name has not been announced yet but there is talk that Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar will contest against Sule. If the fight happens, it will lead to divisions in the Pawar family right up to the family stronghold from where Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar, and Supriya Pawar have won several assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier this month, the Election Commission of India declared Ajit Pawar’s faction as the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which broke away from patriarch Pawar last year and joined hands with the BJP.

Last year, when Ajit Pawar separated from the NCP, Sule had said that there was a split in the NCP due to ideological differences but there was no split in the Pawar family. He said, “Some leaders in the party chose a different path based on some ideology, but this is an issue related to the party, not the family. NCP is not the Pawar family. Ideological differences are in the party, not in the family.” Sule.

At a rally yesterday, Ajit Pawar hinted at fielding his wife Sunetra as a Lok Sabha candidate from NCP stronghold Baramati. “This will be the first election for the candidate I will nominate for the Baramati seat…cast your vote as if you are voting for Ajit Pawar,” he appealed to the people.

If Ajit’s wife Sunetra Pawar contests Baramati and defeats Sule, it will be a rite of passage for the NCP which will be seen as a symbolic anointment of Ajit Pawar as the senior Pawar’s successor.

Baramati, Pawar’s stronghold

Currently, the Baramati constituency is represented by Supriya Sule, daughter of Sharad Pawar and working president of his NCP faction. He won the last three Lok Sabha elections from Pawar’s home constituency Baramati, which is considered the stronghold of the Pawar family. Even during the “Modi wave” in 2014, Sule had managed to win by a slim margin.

From 1996 to 2004, Baramati elected Sharad Pawar as MP and after him, Sule won from Baramati from 2009 to 2019. Baramati, one of the largest Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, has more than six lakh voters combining urban and rural populations.

Ajit had found support in Baramati soon after his separation from his uncle last year, while senior Pawar had earlier made a strong emotional appeal which had united the cadre in support of the uncle. The party split left supporters divided in Baramati city. While senior party workers continue to support their ‘saheb’, the younger generation of party workers is supporting Ajit ‘Dada’ Pawar as their leader. Soon after Ajit Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister at Raj Bhavan on Sunday afternoon, his supporters celebrated by bursting crackers in Baramati.

Jaideep Taware, former sarpanch of Baramati’s Malegaon village, told TOI, “Our political identity is because of Ajit Dada. He has brought the young generation into politics and wherever he goes, we will go there.”

Who is Sunetra Pawar?

Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Ajit Pawar’s website says that she is a woman with a courageous and versatile personality. “Mrs. Pawar, founder of Environmental Forum of India, an NGO established in 2010, was a guide in developing the concept of eco-village in India. Since India is the land of villages, this is a revolution in itself. She serves as a trustee for the indigenous and renowned educational institution Vidya Pratisthan. She has been a think tank member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum in France since 2011. She has also been the chairperson of the textile manufacturing park Baramati Hi-Tech Textile Park Limited.

60-year-old Sunetra is not new to politics, although she has been active on the ground through her social work. She is the sister of former minister of state and Lok Sabha MP Padamsingh Patil, a close confidant of Sharad Pawar, whose son Ranajagjitsingh Patil is currently the BJP MLA from Tuljapur in Dharashiv district.

Recently NCP is projecting Sunetra in Baramati through a campaign. She is also meeting the local party cadre. This started speculations about his contesting against Sule from Baramati.

Recently, a banner with photographs of Sunetra and Ajit Pawar in Baramati, declaring them the party candidates from Baramati, was defaced by unidentified people.

After Ajit took charge of the party, since the Election Commission has declared his faction as the real NCP, Sule will face tough competition from his wife. If there is a contest, it will be known whether Ajit has won the battle within the party, which his uncle had started and built from the ground up, or whether he has won the battle over the Pawar family’s seat of power as well. Is.