Baramati: Speculation Mounts Among NCP Members: Who Is the Mastermind Behind Shiv Sena’s Shivtare?

Baramati: Shiv Sena leader and former state minister Vijay Shivtare has veered off the party’s guidelines and has taken a different stand in the Baramati Lok Sabha elections. While announcing his ambition of contesting the Baramati Lok Sabha election through the platform of ‘Narendra Modi Vichar Manch’, he has also spelled out his desire to contest the election on the BJP’s ticket if the chance is given.

In the midst of ongoing developments, NCP party members are expressing apprehensions, suggesting that there may be an unseen force guiding Shivtare’s actions, prompting speculation about potential discord within the Mahayuti alliance.

After a split in the Nationalist Congress Party, there is a direct contest between MP Supriya Sule and Sunetra Pawar of the Pawar family in Baramati Constituency. In this situation, former Purandar MLA Vijay Shivtare has announced his independent candidature. Therefore, NCP party activists are voicing concerns that Shivtare does not have the courage to do it all alone, and there must be some puppeteer behind him on whose instructions he is daring to challenge Ajit Pawar.

Shivtare has been an MLA from Shiv Sena for two consecutive terms in 2009 and 2014 in Purandar. At that time, the NCP and Congress were his main opponents. Shivtare, who was the Minister of State during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, directly criticised the Pawar family during the election campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Interestingly, the then Guardian Minister, Chandrakant Patil, who was camping in Baramati at the time, also did not campaign so aggressively against Pawar.

Ajit Pawar took revenge for this in the state assembly elections held six months later. Ajit Pawar defeated Shivtare by publicly challenging that he would see how he gets elected in the assembly.

However, the political landscape changed in the state after that. After the experiment of the Mahavikas Aghadi government in the state, initially Shiv Sena under Eknath Shinde split from Uddhav Thackeray. At that time, Shivtare sided with Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena over the ideological differences with the NCP and Ajit Pawar. However, within a year of that, another group, this time the NCP under Ajit Pawar, joined the Mahayuti alliance.

In the first big election after the state assembly elections of 2019, Shivtare is determined to settle the score with Ajit Pawar and therefore has been preparing to contest the Baramati Lok Sabha election. For that, he is ready to contest on the BJP’s ticket if given the chance.

As Shivtares is firm on his stand of contesting the election, NCP workers have become cautious as there has been no serious reaction from the BJP leaders during the last two weeks on this issue. NCP leaders feared the possible ploy of stabbing Ajit Pawar in the back by limiting him to his own home turf.

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