NCP sacks Ajit Pawar as party’s State legislature leader, but keeps doors open for his return

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 23, 2019

Ajit Pawar

Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP ringfence MLAs in an attempt to keep horse trading at bay

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has sacked Ajit Pawar as its leader in the State legislature. However, the party has not yet cancelled his party membership.

NCP MLAs, who met in Mumbai, reportedly signed a letter stating that the earlier resolution to appoint Ajit Pawar as leader of the party in the legislature had been revoked. The meeting also revoked Ajit Pawar’s rights to issue a whip to party MLAs.

Ajit Pawar had allegedly submitted a letter signed by 54 party MLAs to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in support of the BJP. However, 45 of the 54 NCP MLAs were present at the party meeting in Mumbai this evening.

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Ajit Pawar took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's deputy early on Saturday morning, claiming the support of all 54 party MLAs. The resolution approved by the NCP stated that any decision regarding the party would be taken by the party’s National President, Sharad Pawar, and State President Jayant Patil. Patil will henceforth be the party’s leader in the State legislature.

Intriguingly, the NCP has not expelled Ajit Pawar. Party sources said that NCP leaders are still hopeful that Pawar junior will return to the party fold. Sharad Pawar’s daughter and MP Supriya Sule has reportedly asked Ajit Pawar to resign from the post of deputy CM and return.

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Ajit Pawar is at his brother’s residence in Mumbai. The meeting of NCP MLAs continued till late in the evening.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has lodged its MLAs in a Mumbai hotel while the Congress is shifting its MLAs out of the State. The NCP is also likely to keep its MLAs together as the ground is now open for horse-trading.

Published on November 23, 2019

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