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In Baramati , control over cooperative institutions comes in handy for Ajit Pawar

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In the battle for Baramati, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has an edge over his uncle Sharad Pawar in one area — the cooperative sector.

Almost all the cooperative institutions in the area are under the control of Ajit Pawar, whose wife Sunetra Pawar is NCP’s Baramati candidate fighting against NCP (SP)’s Supriya Sule, the sitting MP.

Directors of the Malegaon Cooperative Sugar Mill and the Baramati Taluka Milk Producers Union, the Pune district cooperative milk producers union (Katraj Dairy) and directors of the Pune district cooperative bank have already sworn their alliance to the deputy chief minister.

Both Dr Digambar Durgade, the chairman of the Pune District Cooperative Bank, as well as the vice chairman, Sunil Chandere, are Ajit Pawar loyalists and have hit the ground for Sunetra Pawar.

Sonai Dairy — the largest private milk dairy of Maharashtra — has also thrown its weight behind Ajit Pawar.

Even before he parted ways from his uncle, Ajit Pawar was responsible for the control of the cooperative units which are major power centres for any area.

Ajit, over the years, has have nurtured these institutions and it is no wonder that the leaders have decided to hit the streets for him.

While Sharad Pawar had got himself busy with state and national politics, it was left to Ajit to manage the local and district level politics.


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It might be recalled that Ajit Pawar had made his electoral debut through the election of Baramati Agricultural Produce Market Committee.

Since then, he has been consistently being elected over the board of various cooperative sugar mills, the District central cooperative bank and other institutions of importance.

A director of the Malegaon Cooperative Sugar mill, on condition of anonymity, said this was more of compulsion.
“Ajit Pawar and Sharad Pawar were the same power centres for Baramati and Pune. Over the years, Ajit Pawar personally looked after the elections to the boards and it was under his guidance that we worked. For us it was unthinkable that both would split up. But when they did, our loyalty had to be with Ajit,”the director said.

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