Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Saturday named new working presidents for the party: his daughter and the Baramati MP Supriya Sule, 53; and the NCP’s current vice president Praful Patel, 66, who is a former Union Minister.
Mr. Pawar, 86, made the announcement in New Delhi on the 25th anniversary of the party, which he founded along with P.A. Sangma in 1999. He said, “I am bestowing the responsibility of NCP’s working president to Praful Patel; along with that, have given responsibility of the States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Goa. I am also giving the responsibility of Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, women, youth and Lok Sabha coordination to Supriya Sule as the working president.” He also gave the responsibility of Odisha, West Bengal, farmers, and the minority department to the party’s national general secretary Sunil Tatkare.
On May 2, the NCP chief had resigned as the national president of the party during the launch of his autobiography. At that time, there was talk of appointing a party working president, who would work closely with Mr. Pawar, and whom he would mentor.
However, three days later, on May 5, Mr. Pawar took back his resignation, stating that he respected the “strong sentiments” his decision had evoked among the party cadre and leaders across the country.
He had said, “Even though I am continuing in the post of president, I am clear that there has to be a succession plan for any post. In future, I will focus on making organisational changes in the party by assigning new responsibilities and creating new leadership.”