Ajit-BJP back-channels opened a few days ago, operation began Friday evening

NEW DELHI: As the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress talks inched closer to conclusion, Ajit Pawars discomfort with the unfolding scenario grew. Not at ease about an alliance with Sena and increasingly anxious over his future in NCP in the light of corrosive family battles, the taciturn, rough-hewn leader looked for a way out.
The back channels had been at work over the past few days and on Friday, Ajit Pawar indicated that he might be ready to make his move. The operation that culminated in the swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis as CM and Ajit Pawar as his deputy early on Saturday, began to roll out about 12 hours before when Bhupender Yadav, BJP general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, reached Mumbai around 7pm.
Yadavs arrival was preceded by Ajit Pawar conveying through intermediaries to Fadnavis he was ready to cross over if he was given an “honourable deal”, and that he would get numbers that would help BJP reach the majority mark.
Apart from contact with Fadnavis, the role of former Sena leader Narayan Rane in being a conduit is being mentioned. Rane and Pawar were both members of Vilasrao Deshmukhs Congress-led Cabinet. Also a Maratha leader, now with BJP, Rane has been targeted by Sena which did its best to defeat his son Nitesh in the recent assembly polls.
With letters of claim and support drafted and dispatched, the Raj Bhavan set into motion the process of lifting Presidents rule and the official action moved to Delhi. In Mumbai, as night gave way to light, a new political reality dawned. Parties and leaders looking to stake claim found BJP and Ajit Pawar had upstaged them.
The political and legal battles over Governor B S Koshyaris decision are still to play out, but the likely motives behind Ajit Pawars desertion are being keenly discussed. It is felt that he was possibly upset that his name for deputy CM was brought up late by NCP. And even then, his political future was far from secure with the possibility of his cousin Supriya Sule being named uncle Sharad Pawars political heir.
The rumour mills were busy speculating about the cases Ajit Pawar faces, including a probe by the Enforcement Directorate. It is unclear how far his political decisions can actually impact his legal matters, but the grapevine figured that it would not hurt to be in the ruling camp in the state and the Centre.
At a political level, things have not been well in the Pawar clan. The Lok Sabha elections saw the feud surface with Sharad Pawar giving up plans to contest so that Ajit Pawars son Parth couRead More – Source