Rama Krishna Sangem
Ajit Pawar along with 30 NCP MLAs split the party and joined Eknath Shinde led Maharashtra government as Deputy Chief Minister on July 2, Sunday. Eight of them including Chagan Bhujbal were sworn as ministers. Now, Shinde government will have breakaway factions of both Shiv Sena and NCP. BJP high command seems to have planned this coup in NCP, biggest opposition block in Maharashtra.
Ajit took away 30 MLAs as of now, but claims backing of 10 more, out of the total 53 MLAs elected on the party ticket. What surprised many is presence of NCP’s newly minted working president Praful Patel, at Raj Bhavan on Sunday. Patel along with Supriya Sule is made a working president of NCP recently by the party boss Sharad Pawar. It is still not known, if Patel has joined Ajit or still with Sharad Pawar.
All indications point to a firm split in NCP, the backbone of Maha Vijkas Agadhi – a combination of Shiv Sena of Uddhav Thackeray, NCP and Congress. If so, there will be another fight in NCP between Sharad Pawar vs Ajit Pawar for EC recognition and symbol allotment. Already, Shinde faction has got EC recognition as the official group while Uddhav faction is fighting legal battles.
Shinde: “Ajit sidelined in NCP”
CM Shinde later told media persons in Mumbai that Ajit Pawar has joined his government as he was sidelined within the party. “I welcome AJit and his MLAs into our government,” said Shinde. BJP leader and another Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis who masterminded this split too seen coordinating the developments and swearing in ceremony at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
Now Ajit Pawar is the Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly. Ajit who faces ED and CBI cases for sometime is not happy with NCP being with Sena and Congress and sit in the opposition camp. He once went to BJP camp and became Dy CM for a few days, but later returned to NCP. Since recently, Ajit has been indicating that he is not happy with Supriya Sule made a working president, No 2 in NCP.
Sharad Pawar: “Not new to me”
Sharad Pawar who too spoke to media sounded philosophical but firm on the developments. As all the NCP MLAs who took over as ministers were facing ED or CBI cases for sometime, Sharad Pawar sarcastically said: “Good that it is proved they are wrongly framed in the cases. Now they are clean”. Sharad Pawar also congratulated his nephew Ajit for becoming Dy CM. Senior Pawar indicated that he would fight to strengthen NCP in the coming days.