Pune: Sharad Pawar’s Visit to Daund: Reunion with BJP-Aligned Premsukh Kataria Raises Eyebrows

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Daund, 8th April 2024: Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar, recently reunited with his longtime associate, Premsukh Kisandas Kataria, who is currently aligned with the BJP, after a gap of seven years. This goodwill visit, however, has stirred controversy as it comes just a month before the elections, provoking reactions from both the BJP and the NCP Ajit Pawar faction.

During his visit to Daund city, Sharad Pawar met with Premsukh Kataria, a veteran corporator of Daund Municipality for five decades, at Sheth Jyotiprasad Vidyalaya. This meeting took place following interactions with the residents of Daund town in the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency.

While details of their closed-door discussions remain undisclosed, Sharad Pawar and Kataria conversed about the educational institution where Kataria serves as Honorary Secretary. However, the meeting has raised eyebrows among political opponents of Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar’s daughter and a prominent NCP leader.

Currently not holding any official position within a political party, Premsukh Kataria serves as a political mentor to Rahul Kul, the current BJP MLA of Daund constituency in Daund taluka. This reunion between Sharad Pawar and Kataria has garnered attention and speculation amidst the political landscape, given Kataria’s association with the opposition BJP.

Premsukh Kataria, once known as a colleague of Sharad Pawar, has faced defeat twice in the Daund assembly elections. Despite this, he has held prominent positions within political parties, serving as the Taluka President of the Congress (I) Party and Daund City President of the NCP.

Having traversed through various political affiliations, including Congress, Shiv Sena, and Nationalist Congress, Kataria remains active in politics, leveraging his influence across all sections of Daund city. He is currently engaged in political activities through an alliance called the Citizen Hit Protection Mandal. Notably, Sunetra Ajit Pawar, while initiating her campaign in Daund City, had a goodwill meeting with Premsukh Kataria at his residence on February 26.

Sharad Pawar’s recent interaction with Kataria underscores his inclination to maintain ties with former colleagues, despite differences in political ideologies. The timing of this meeting, just before the filing of Supriya Sule’s candidature, adds intrigue to the unfolding political dynamics.

Interestingly in 2016Premsukh Kataria’s daughter-in-law, Sheetal Yogesh Kataria, an independent candidate, defeated the NCP candidate in the direct election for the Mayor of Daund Municipality. During a visit to Sheetal Kataria’s house, Sharad Pawar was seen placing the NCP flag around her neck, leading to speculation that she had joined the party. However, Premsukh Kataria clarified that it was a goodwill gesture, and Sheetal had not officially joined the NCP. This incident caused a stir in the political arena, with repercussions felt even among other parties’ candidates.