Mumbai: Former Union Minister Praful Patel, who is with the NCP group led by Ajit Pawar, on Wednesday took a dig at the meeting of opposition parties in Patna last month, saying he felt “like laughing” when he saw the scene where seven of 17 opposition parties present have only one MP in the Lok Sabha and there was a party which has no MP.
Praful Patel took part in the meeting of opposition parties in Patna on June 23 with Sharad Pawar. The former union minister was a close aid of Sharad Pawar before he switched sides.
Patel, who was speaking at the meeting of NCP leaders called by the Ajit Pawar group at Mumbai Education Trust Bandra,reaffirmed their decision to join the NDA in Maharashtra, emphasising that it was driven by their commitment to the nation and their party’s principles rather than personal gains.
Praful Patel said questions were being raised about their joining hands and listed parties such as the PDP and National Conference, which had been with the BJP in the past. “When we could accept the ideology of the Shiva Sena, then what is the objection in going with the BJP? We have joined this alliance as an independent entity. Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah went with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, and they are now part of the opposition,” he said.
The Nationalist Congress Party faced escalated tensions as the two groups held simultaneous meetings to demonstrate their strength. The crisis was triggered when Ajit Pawar switched sides and joined the Eknath Shinde-BJP government as Deputy Chief Minister, with eight other NCP MLAs also taking oath as ministers on the same day.