NCP President Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray during a joint press conference, in Mumbai on Saturday.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP0 President Sharad Pawar on Saturday said the decision of his nephew Ajit Pawar to join hands with the BJP to form a Government in Maharashtra was an act of indiscipline and attracts provisions of anti-defection law. Pawar was addressing a joint press conference with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray here. “Ajit Pawar’s decision is an act of indiscipline. No NCP worker is in favour of the NCP-BJP Government. NCP MLAs who support the BJP should know this move attracts provisions of anti-defection law,” he said. Whenever elections are held in the constituencies of these legislators, Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena would unitedly defeat them, he added.
He said 54 newly-elected legislators of the NCP had signed a paper along with their names and constituencies for internal purpose and these signatures may have been misused as letter of support and submitted to the Governor. “If this is true, the Governor has also been misled,” Pawar said, adding that the paper may have been taken by Ajit Pawar as the leader of the legislature party. He said those MLAs, who were taken to the Raj Bhawan for oath-taking without their knowledge, have contacted him and informed how they were misled. Three such legislators, including Rajendra Shingane from Buldhana and Sandeep Kshirsagar from Beed, were present at the press conference.
They said they were called to party leader Dhananjay Munde’s house at 7 am and from there were taken in a car to Raj Bhawan. Pawar said no action would be taken against those who unknowingly went to Raj Bhawan for the swearing-in and were back in the party fold. NCP legislature party meeting would be held later in the day to elect the new leader. On the issue of action against Ajit Pawar, the former Union Minister said a decision to that effect would be taken by the disciplinary committee. Uddhav Thackeray said, “Earlier the EVM khel (game) was going on and now this is new khel. From here onwards I don’t think elections are even needed.” “Everyone knows what Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj did when betrayed and attacked from the back,” he said, adding that Sena workers will foil all attempts to poach party MLAs.
At least nine MLAs who were with Ajit Pawar swear loyalty to Sharad Pawar
AT least nine NCP MLAs who attended swearing-in of Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra returned to the party fold and expressed solidarity with party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday evening. These MLAs were present when BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis and NCP’s Ajit Pawar were sworn in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister at Raj Bhawan. Udgir MLA Sanjay Bansode was the latest legislator to turn up at the Y B Chavan Centre here where party MLAs are attending a meeting convened by Sharad Pawar. Bansode appeared at the venue in a dramatic manner, accompanied by NCP leader Shashikant Shinde, and Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and Milind Narvekar. “I did not go anywhere. I am with Pawar Saheb only,” Bansode told reporters.
Ajit, Sharad Pawar’s nephew, joined hands with the BJP alongwith some legislators and took oath as Deputy CM in the morning, stating that he was taking the step to provide the State a stable Government. Dilip Bankar and Manikrao Kokate, MLAs from Nashik who were with Ajit at Raj Bhawan, tweeted separately later that they were kept in the dark about the oath-taking ceremony. Both the MLAs said they were with the NCP and expressed solidarity with the party chief.
Earlier MLAs Rajendra Shingne (who represents Buldhana seat), Sandeep Kshirsagar (Beed), Sunil Shelke (Maval), Sunil Bhusara (Vikramgad), Narhari Zirwal (Dindori) and Sunil Tingre (Wadgaon-Sheri) returned to the NCP fold, having attended the oath-taking ceremony.