NCP doesn't support Ajit Pawar backing BJP: Sharad Pawar
In a dramatic turn of events, BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and NCP's Ajit Pawar were sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Deputy CM respectively on Saturday. In the latest development in this political spectacle, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who was apparently trying to strike an alliance with rivals Shiv Sena and Congress, said his party doesn't support Ajit Pawar's decision. Here are more details.
Sharad Pawar said, "Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)." He added, "We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his." NCP leader Praful Patel backed the party chief, saying, "This isn't NCP's decision and doesn't have Sharad Pawar's support."
Sharad Pawar's clarification came after sources told ANI that the NCP chief was part of discussions supporting a Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra. The sources said that the NCP chief gave his nod to Ajit and no decision of the party can be taken without his assent. Ajit Pawar is the leader of the Parliamentary Board of NCP.
Separately, Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut also backed the NCP chief saying, "Sharad Pawar saheb has nothing to do with this." "Ajit Pawar has backstabbed the people of Maharashtra," Raut added. Raut went on to say that Ajit Pawar couldn't see him eye-to-eye and "vanished" after a meeting with him which led the Sena leader to suspect his movements.
Raut said Ajit Pawar and the MLAs supporting him have sullied the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil added, "Sanjay Raut should now stay quiet. He has ruined Shiv Sena," adding that the Sena had betrayed the people's mandate earlier.
WATCH: Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut addresses the media in Mumbai https://t.co/x25iBkbDnP— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2019
Further, Raut said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray—who was "set to become CM" until late Friday—will hold a meeting with Sharad Pawar and will address media at 12.30 pm. Meanwhile, BJP leader Girish Mahajan said, "Ajit Pawar has given a letter to Governor about the support of his MLAs and as he's NCP's legislative party leader, which means all NCP MLAs have supported us."
Girish Mahajan,BJP: We will prove our majority with support of over 170 MLAs. Ajit Pawar has given a letter to Governor about support of his MLAs and as he is legislative party leader of NCP, which means all NCP MLAs have supported us— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2019
To recall, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won a majority in the Maharashtra elections last month, however, debates over power-sharing led to the alliance falling apart. As no party proved a majority in the assembly, President's rule was imposed in the state. Unsatisfied, the Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP tried to strike a three-party alliance. However, in a last-minute turnaround, Fadnavis became Chief Minister.