Hours after extending support to BJP-led government in Maharashtra and taking oath as the Deputy Chief Minister, NCP’s Ajit Pawar was on Saturday removed as the Legislative Party leader.
The Nationalist Congress Party, which was in talks with the Congress and the Shiv Sena to form a government in Maharashtra, was on Saturday left shell-shocked after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis along with Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar took oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of the state, respectively.
Many NCP leaders described the Ajit Pawar’s move as “backstabbing”.
Another NCP leader, who was related to the development of the talks between the three parties said, “When the Shiv Sena and the Congress were busy in keeping their houses together by keeping their MLAs either in hotels or resorts in Jaipur, Sharad Pawar believed in his nephew and did not put any of his MLAs anywhere.”
He said, Sharad Pawar trusted his nephew Ajit Pawar and that was the reason why he was made the party’s CLP leader.”
The political twist comes at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena seemingly reached the final stage on Friday.
After a tripartite meeting between Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP, Sharad Pawar had confirmed on Friday that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will lead the alliance in Maharashtra.
Reacting on the development, party supremo and uncle Sharad Pawar said his nephew’s decision was a personal one.
Sharad Pawar said that the decision was not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and placed on record that they do not support or endorse the decision of Ajit Pawar.
However, it is confirmed that the Governor was handed letters of support from all NCP MLAs.
Speaking on this, NCP leader Nawab Malik said the party had taken signatures from MLAs for attendance, but it was “misused as a basis for the oath”.
In the October 21 election, the BJP had won 105 out of 288 seats, while its pre-poll alliance partner Shiv Sena won 56 seats. The NCP and the Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively. However, the Shiv Sena had a fallout with the BJP as Uddhav Thackeray demand rotational chief ministership. But the BJP refused to concede the demand of Shiv Sena.
President’s rule was imposed in Maharashtra on November 12, 18 days after the results of the elections were declared as none of the parties were able to form a government in the state.