Mumbai: The NCP on Saturday evening removed Ajit Pawar as the party's legislature unit leader, hours after he joined hands with the BJP and took oath as the deputy of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Ajit Pawar's actions defied the party's policies, said a resolution passed at the legislature wing's meeting, attended by party supremo Sharad Pawar.
State NCP chief Jayant Patil will have all the constitutional rights till the next legislature party leader is elected, it said. Ajit, the NCP chief's nephew, had been elected as the legislature party leader on 30 October following the results of the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The resolution passed at the meeting also said that Ajit's right to issue a whip were also revoked. The party authorised Sharad Pawar and Jayant Patil to decide its stand in light of the developments.
Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday returned to helm the state as the chief minister for a second term with the backing of Ajit who took oath as his deputy. Sharad said the decision to side with Fadnavis was his nephew's personal choice and not that of the party. NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said the list of NCP MLAs submitted by Ajit Pawar to the governor before taking oath was actually a letter signed by the party MLAs when they had attended a meeting earlier.
Some of the MLAs, who were present with Ajit during the oath-taking ceremony, later pledged their loyalty to Sharad. The number of legislators, if any, backing Ajit Pawar remains a mystery. Meanwhile, sources said Ajit Pawar's primary membership of the party remains intact. "Efforts are on convince him to return to the party's fold," the sources said.
The Pawar senior said the decision to side with Fadnavis was his nephew's personal choice and not that of the party.
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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2019 22:31:26 IST