PUNE: A political earthquake took place in Maharashtra due to a vertical split in the NCP. Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar took the oath of office with some MLAs. Since some of the rebels are close confidants of NCP President Sharad Pawar, it is being considered a big blow to the NCP supremo. Sharad Pawar has again hinted at entering the political arena. Pawar also spoke about whether action would be taken against Ajit Pawar and nine MLAs. He was speaking at a press conference.
Responding to a question whether action would be taken against Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar said, “This is not the party’s decision and it is against the party. Senior leaders of the party will discuss this issue and take a decision. The leaders will consult Jayant Patil. I have appointed Sunil Tatkare as the General Secretary and Praful Patel as the Working President. I want to tell them that the steps they should have taken for the party’s benefit were not taken. Hence, I cannot trust them. They should take appropriate action or we will have to take action. Action will have to be taken against those who have left the party,” Pawar said.
“Recently, the PM had made a comment about the Congress and NCP. He had said that NCP was a corrupt party and he had given the reference of Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank and the Water Resources Department. I am happy that the oath of office was administered in the presence of BJP leaders. This means that the allegations made by Modi were not correct and he has freed NCP leaders from the accusations. I am thankful to PM Modi for this,” Sharad Pawar said, taunting the PM.
“I am not worried about what happened today. I am going out tomorrow. I am going to hold a meeting of party leaders in Satara after going to Karad and taking darshan of samadhi of Yashwantrao Chavan. I will try to meet the maximum number of people in the state and this will be my plan from tomorrow. NCP was not a party. We had some differences and we formed the party. Let anybody do what he wants and we will approach the people and explain our stand. I was not aware when the resignation of the leader of the opposition was given. If anyone is taking a particular stance by being a party leader, then we will not fight with them. We will talk with the people,” Pawar said.
When asked about whether today’s development was orchestrated by Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, he said, “This is not googly but a robbery. This is not a minor matter.”
“If the leader of the opposition is to be appointed tomorrow, then I will give my support as party chief. The leader can be from Congress or Thackeray’s Shiv Sena. I have a lot of faith in our party workers and they would be upset today. They elect us and act as per our instructions. If we have to drive away their frustration, then we will have to rebuild the party. This will be done by me and young activists,” he said.
“I had planned a meeting of the party on July 6 but some colleagues have adopted a different stance. We will come to know soon how many colleagues have adopted a different stance. Today’s incident is not new for me. In 1980, many people left me but I rebuilt the party. At that time, only 3 or 4 out of those left the party were elected and all others lost. I have complete faith in the people,” Pawar said.
“ Some of my party colleagues have taken a different stance. They think that they represent the party. In 2-3 days, we will come to know how many MLAs have taken a different stance. Some of the rebel leaders contacted me. They told me that they had been invited and they have signed documents but their stand is different. I don’t want to speak about it right now because a clear picture should be presented to the people. People who contacted me should do that or I will assume that they have adopted a different stance,” Pawar said.
Hence, it remains to be seen whether the MLAs who are supporting Ajit Pawar, will return to the party.