Name: Ajit Pawar

Date of Birth: 22 July 1959
Political Party: Nationalist Congress Party
Spouse: Sunetra Pawar

Ajit Pawar, a prominent figure in Maharashtra politics, has been a critical player in the state's political arena for decades. He is the nephew of Sharad Pawar, the veteran politician and founder of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Over the years, Ajit Pawar has established himself as a formidable leader, characterized by his tactical acumen and a penchant for making bold political moves.

Ajit Pawar's early life in Baramati laid the foundation for his political journey. He attended Deolali Pravara High School and pursued higher education at Pune University. His foray into politics was influenced by his family's solid political background, with his uncle Sharad Pawar being a significant figure in Maharashtra and national politics.

Ajit Pawar's political career began in the early 1980s when he was elected to the board of a cooperative sugar factory, a common entry point for many politicians in Maharashtra, where the cooperative sector plays a crucial role in the state's economy. His administrative skills and grasp of the collaborative industry quickly elevated his status within local politics.

In 1991, Ajit Pawar took a significant step by getting elected to the Lok Sabha, representing the Baramati constituency. However, he vacated his seat for his uncle, Sharad Pawar, who needed to re-enter Parliament after becoming the Defence Minister in the P.V. Narasimha Rao government. This act clearly indicated his loyalty and strategic positioning within the party.

However, Ajit Pawar's influence came to the fore in state politics. He has been a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly since 1991, continuously representing the Baramati constituency. His roles have been diverse, serving as Minister of State for Agriculture and Power and later as a Cabinet Minister, handling significant portfolios such as Water Resources. These roles enabled him to influence Maharashtra's agricultural and infrastructure policies profoundly.

Ajit Pawar has served as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra multiple times, with his terms marked by both achievements and controversies. His tenure saw essential infrastructure projects and initiatives but also allegations of corruption, which he has vehemently denied. His ability to navigate the complex political landscape of Maharashtra has been evident in how he has handled these challenges.

One of the most dramatic moments in Ajit Pawar's career came in 2019, when he unexpectedly aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government, causing a significant political stir. This government, however, lasted only a few days as he returned to the NCP fold, citing personal and political reasons.

In 2023, Ajit Pawar again made headlines by leading a split in the NCP and aligning with the Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena, thus forming a government and becoming the Deputy Chief Minister. This move was strategic, leveraging his support within the party to carve out a significant position for himself and his followers.

Beyond his political manoeuvres, Ajit Pawar's influence extends to various sectors of Maharashtra's governance, especially agriculture and irrigation, which are vital for the state's predominantly agrarian economy. His decisions and policies have often been geared towards improving the infrastructure and livelihood of the rural population.

In a recent and significant political development, the Election Commission of India, in February 2024, awarded the original NCP name and symbol to Ajit Pawar's faction, recognizing them as the true bearers of the party's legacy.


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