New Delhi: As the 288 newly elected MLAs of Maharashtra will take oath on Wednesday almost a month after the results of the assembly polls were announced, 79-year-old NCP leader Sharad Pawar emerged as the man of the match in Maharashtra politics.

The oath will be administered by pro-tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar, who was sworn in on Tuesday. Kolambkar was appointed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday evening on directions of the Supreme Court which ordered a floor test on Wednesday.

According to reports, Sharad Pawar repeatedly sent emissaries to nephew Ajit in the past few days which finally made Ajit Pawar withdraw from an alliance with the BJP. Ahead of the uncle-nephew meeting on Tuesday morning which delivered a deadly blow to the alliance, Sharad Pawar sent Praful Patel, Jayant Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Sunil Tatkare to bring Ajit back. No other family members, including Supriya Sule, were allowed to speak against Ajit in the public.

This election, however, saw Sharad Pawar in an enthusiastic role since the beginning as he led the entire campaigning of the NCP-Congress alliance. The photograph of Pawar addressing a rally undaunted amid a downpour in Satara came out as the most striking image of the assembly election campaigning. The NCP came third, after the BJP and the Sena, but it improved its tally from 41 seats in 2014 to 54 in 2019. Even the credit of bringing unlikely partners like the Sena and the Congress on the same page mostly goes to the NCP patriarch.

Sharad Pawar, who still holds the record as the youngest chief minister of Maharashtra (He was 38 when he became the CM) of all times, parted ways with the Congress in 1999 over Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin issues. However, he is one such political figure who enjoys support from all sides.

(With agency inputs)