The grand-nephew of Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar appealed for unity within the family and the party in an emotional social media post on the ongoing turmoil on the home and political fronts.
Rohit R Pawar wrote on social media: "Since childhood, I have seen how 'Pawar Saheb' (Sharad Pawar) was never lacking in anything - whether personal or political. When I lost my grandfather Appasaheb Pawar (Sharad Pawar's brother), it was 'Pawar Saheb' who first consoled my father Rajendra, I have witnessed how, when Ajit Pawar lost his father Anantrao, again it was 'Pawar Saheb' who looked after him (Ajit Pawar)"
"In fact, after the demise of Ajit Pawar's father, it was 'Pawar Saheb' who showered a father's love on him, and he (Ajit Pawar) reciprocated in equal measure by standing up for Pawar Saheb whenever he was in crisis," Rohit said of the state's numero uno political family.
"Whether any problem was personal or political, to get overwhelmed is not in Pawar Saheb's dictionary," he said paying a tribute to Sharad Pawar's legendary crisis-combat abilities.
"Given the critical situation today, the same old situation must prevail. Ajit Pawar should bow down before Sharad Pawar's wishes and return home. Pawar Saheb never mixes family and political affairs, and is unlikely to do so ever."
He said even 'Pawar Saheb' once hailed from a very humble background, taking up issues of the commoners and becoming the voice of the trampled masses till the very end.
"The arrogant powers-that-be have attempted to silence his voice. I feel this is the time for the family to stand united and we must all remain behind him," said Rohit.
He expressed confidence that very soon a 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' government (comprising Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress) would come to power and it was important that deserving people are not kept at bay.
Supriya Sule's heartfelt words
Rohit's social media post came a day after Ajit Pawar's cousin sister Supriya Pawar-Sule wrote on Whatsapp: "Party and Family split". The cryptic status directed towards the rift within the Pawar family and the NCP.
"Who do you trust in life? Never felt so cheated in my life. Defended him (Ajit Pawar), loved him. Look what I get in return," said Sule's status.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, a shaken and emotional Supriya Sule is said to have called up her father and said she had "lost her dear brother" forever, and all relations would be severed with him.
A day after, however, Supriya - who ties a 'rakhi' to Ajit Pawar every year on Rakshabandhan - appeared to have softened up with a fresh post saying "values will eventually win".
"Honesty and hard work never goes waste. That path is harder but sustains long term," Sule said, with a folded hands emoticon.
These family appeals came amid parallel efforts by senior party leaders like state NCP chief Jayant Patil and former minister Dilip Walse-Patil who spent a couple of hours with Ajit Pawar - currently living with his brother in Mumbai - hoping to convince him and win him back to the party fold.
It may be recalled that in times of various political crises Ajit Pawar encountered in his long political career, the Pawar clan stood behind him like the Gibraltar's Rock, including the last time when he and Sharad Pawar were named in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam.
(With agency inputs.)