Sharad Pawar, 82, Is India’s Machiavelli 2023

Sharad Pawar runs Maharashtra and national politics at an age when most of his peers have retired or died. At 82, his mind seems as young as a 25-year-old despite repeated cancer diagnoses and procedures. “One has to take a hundred births to understand the mind of Sharad Pawar,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut famously said in 2019, when Maharashtra was experiencing unprecedented political instability.

Sharad Pawar’s political career supports Raut’s claim. His personality has always been unpredictable, unscrupulous, political expediency, and power-hungry. Sharad Pawar remains India’s Niccolo Machiavelli.
After the Hindenburg Research investigation revealed some details, Sharad Pawar startled everyone by publicly supporting industrialist Gautam Adani. In an interview, Pawar said Adani was targeted and a committee was unnecessary.

The triparty MVA alliance’s tallest leader’s strange stance on BJP issues astonished political pundits.

Pawar also dismissed the opposition’s criticism of Narendra Modi’s degree. Political commentators were appalled by the triparty MVA alliance’s tallest leader’s bizarre stance on BJP-related problems. It fueled rumors that Pawar is wooing the BJP for his next political move.

They’re reasonable. Sharad Pawar has made erratic judgments to maintain the NCP in power and himself relevant. In 1999, he left the Indian National Congress and created the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Sonia Gandhi’s Italian heritage justified the split.

However, Sharad Pawar allied with the Congress in Maharashtra the same year. He justified the move by saying the “foreign origin” issue is central, not state-level. When UPA took power in 2004, Pawar joined the administration without hesitation.

The Shiv Sena and BJP, partners for almost two decades, fought the 2014 elections independently. The BJP won the most seats but fell short of 145 out of 288 in the Vidhan Sabha. Pawar, the BJP’s political foe, saved the party to everyone’s amazement. His party MLAs left the trust motion, decreasing the majority and allowing Devendra Fadnavis to remain chief minister. In a post-election partnership, Shiv Sena joined the administration.

Sharad Pawar helped the BJP form the government, but carefully monitored BJP-Shiv Sena relations. They soon clashed. Shiv Sena leaders and their spokesmen constantly criticized the BJP. Both parties contested 2019 Vidhan Sabha elections together.

Uddhav Thackeray’s two-and-a-half-year CM bid sparked a BJP-Shiv Sena conflict.

With 105 seats, the BJP again won the election. The Shiv Sena finished second with 56 seats, the NCP 54, and the Congress 44. The pre-poll alliance mandated the BJP-Shiv Sena administration. The Shiv Sena and BJP clashed when Uddhav Thackeray requested the CM seat for two and a half years. BJP disputed the commitment.

Sharad Pawar, who was following the proceedings, offered Uddhav the CM’s post at this moment. He assured Uddhav that the Congress and NCP would give him enough seats to rule. Thus, the MVA government was founded. Sharad Pawar could win power despite being third on the winning list.

The NCP got numerous crucial positions and his nephew Ajit Pawar became deputy chief minister. Uddhav was CM, but Sharad Pawar ran the government.

Maharashtra politics are back in focus. In his weekly Saamana piece, Sanjay Raut quoted Sharad Pawar as saying the BJP is utilizing central investigative agencies to pressure NCP leaders. Ajit Pawar’s side was rumored to leave the NCP and join the BJP.

The Supreme Court’s order’s suspense is also confusing. Political commentators believe that if the Supreme Court disqualifies Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena MLAs, his government will fall and Ajit Pawar will take over. In an interview, Ajit Pawar declared his readiness to become CM.

Sharad Pawar’s “I am not sure about MVA’s future” has left everyone guessing about his next step. In Maharashtra politics, “Sharad Pawar never does what he says, and never says what he does.” Even at this age, his unpredictability is his greatest advantage.

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