NCP leader Ajit Pawar and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who were once the BJP’s prime targets over corruption allegations, have now become the party’s star campaigners. For over a decade, the BJP had relentlessly targeted Pawar and Chavan, labelling them as “tainted leaders” involved in multi-crore scams. Both leaders featured prominently in the BJP’s 2014 and 2019 election campaigns, where they were portrayed as the face of corruption.


Pawar, who had snatched the NCP from his uncle and aligned with the BJP and Ashok Chavan, who recently joined the BJP, are now among the leaders enlisted by the BJP to canvass for its candidates.

One of the major scandals that plagued Chavan was the Adarsh Housing Society Scam, which implicated several top bureaucrats and politicians. The scam — involving the construction of a high-rise building for war widows — was exploited by politicians, bureaucrats and military officials to acquire flats.

Chavan faced allegations of impropriety regarding the ownership of three flats owned by his family. The BJP had campaigned against him in 2014 and 2019, highlighting the Adarsh scam as one of the key reasons to vote against him.

Similarly, Ajit Pawar was embroiled in the irrigation scam, which came to light after Maharashtra’s Economic Survey in 2012 reported major lapses in irrigation projects despite ₹70,000 crore being spent over a decade. Pawar, along with other NCP ministers, was accused of corruption, irregularities in project approval and execution, inflation of tenders and favouritism in allocating work to specific contractors. The BJP had made the irrigation scam its main election plank in the 2014 and 2019 elections, directly targeting Pawar.

BJP cadre in the State is still digesting the fact that the leaders who were their main target till recently and were painted the faces of corruption are now their star campaigners!