Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party President Chandrakant Patil on Wednesday said they will ensure Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar retires after the upcoming Assembly elections, PTI reported. Elections in Maharashtra and Haryana are scheduled for October 21 and the results will be out on October 24.

“We will retire Sharad Pawar permanently from social and political life after results of assembly elections are out,” he said. Patil, who is contesting his first Assembly polls from Kothrud in Pune, made the comments at an election rally for Shiv Sena candidate Prakashrao Abitkar in Kolhapur’s Radhanagari tehsil. He also took a dig at Pawar’s party over defections of its leaders.

However, Pawar in an interview to India Today on Tuesday had blamed the defections on the “vindictive politics” allegedly played by the people in power. “Since the present [BJP] government is vindictive, they started inquiries – even against me. Those unable to take this pressure joined BJP or Shiv Sena,” he said. “But I see an opportunity to rebuild the party with the younger generation.”

Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde said on Tuesday that his party will unite with the NCP in the future. “Even if the Congress and NCP are two different parties, but today I would like to tell you that in the future we will come closer to each other,” he said, according to NDTV. “The NCP and Congress will come together because now they are also tired and we are also tired.”

The Congress and the NCP had declared last month that they would team up for the elections to the 288-seat Maharashtra Assembly. Pawar had announced that the two parties will contest 125 seats each with 38 seats remaining for the rest of their allies.

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