Ajit Pawar, who revolted against his uncle Sharad Pawar and helped the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis take power on Saturday, is set to return as leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislature party, sources say.
Sharad Pawar had replaced Ajit Pawar with Jayant Patil after his nephew suddenly appeared on TV screens in the morning taking oath as deputy to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Yesterday, both Mr Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar resigned after the Supreme Court asked the BJP to take an immediate trust vote and prove its majority in the assembly.
Hours later, Ajit Pawar met with Sharad Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule and Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray, besides other leaders at the NCP chief's Silver Oaks home in Mumbai.
In the closed door meeting, which went on for more than four hours, Ajit Pawar was reportedly welcomed back to the party and family but warned against any such moves in future.
It was in the afterglow of that reconciliation meeting that Ajit Pawar got a warm hug from Supriya Sule at the Maharashtra assembly this morning and the two posed cheek to cheek.
While NCP has been effusive in welcoming back "Ajit Dada", its allies in the Maha Vikas Aghadi -- Shiv Sena and Congress - may not feel the same way about Ajit Pawar's 80-hour rebellion and homecoming.
Ajit Pawar, 60, indicated that even after delivering a huge shocker to his party and the alliance both, he expected a ministry.
"The decision to induct me in the cabinet is to be taken by Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister. I will accept any responsibility given by my party," said the former Deputy Chief Minister.
Uddhav Thackeray will be sworn in as Chief Minister tomorrow of a Sena-NCP-Congress alliance that claims the support of 162 MLAs, well past the 145-majority mark in the 288-member assembly.
Sunil Tatkare was among the NCP leaders who was in regular touch with Ajit Pawar and is among the leaders credited with bringing him around. "Now everything is over. Ajit-dada is back, all is well. Under his leadership and with the blessings of Sharad Pawar, we will work in Maharashtra," Mr Tatkare told NDTV.
Would Ajit Pawar be minister? "I think that will be decided by our ultimate leader Sharad Pawar," said Mr Tatkare.