Prized Devgiri bungalow reserved for Ajit Pawar

Mumbai: The former deputy chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar is yet to join the Uddhav Thackeray led cabinet, but the public works department has reserved the prized Devgiri bugalow in Malabar Hill for him. Two senior ministers including Balasaheb Thorat (Congress) and Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena) had evinced interest for the iconic bungalow though their request was not entertained by the department and also by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Ajit Pawar had occupied Devgiri during Congress-NCP government (1999-2014) and later it was the official residence of the former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. State government sources told the FPJ, ''The public works department had received requests from Thorat and Shinde after the swearing-in ceremony held on November 28, asking for allotment of the Devgiri bungalow. However, since the department had received request from Pawar's staff before the others, it was not allotted to the other two.''

Just last week, Pawar was embroiled after he unilaterally decided to join hands with the BJP and subsequently was sworn in as the DCM on November 23, with Devendra Fadnavis as the Chief Minister. After a high voltage drama and emotional appeals from the party leaders and family members, Pawar resigned on November 25, as the DCM, reiterating his loyalty to his uncle, the chief of NCP and the party. NCP decided to defer his induction in the ministry on November 28, following strong objections raised by the Congress.

However, Pawar is set to get the ministerial berth in the ensuing cabinet expansion, expected to take place after the conclusion of a week-long winter session, on December 21. He will be made the deputy chief minister as a large number of party legislators believe, it was necessary for the stability of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and also to keep the NCP united.

Pawar has a special affection for Devgiri bungalow as he had stayed there for 15 years. It is here he experienced several ups and downs in his political life. He had resigned as the deputy chief minister in September 2012, keeping NCP and Congress in the dark. He had quit the government saying he was tired of the accusations of his alleged involvement in the multi-crore irrigation scam.

Even after resigning, Pawar never left the bungalow and later he withdrew his resignation in October 2012 rejoining the Prithviraj Chavan led government.

Meanwhile, the public works department has allotted Varsha to CM Thackeray, Ramtek to NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Seva Sadan to Jayant Patil and Royal Stone to Shinde. Fadnavis, the former chief minister has got Sagar bulgalow in Malabar Hill.

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