Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has been split after Ajit Pawar, nephew of party supremo Sharad Pawar, joined the Maharashtra government. He was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister along with nine MLAs from the NCP.
Reports say that out of the 53 MLAs in the NCP, thirty MLAs support Ajit Pawar. This raises the question of the party’s future and the role of Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra politics. The split comes hardly a month after Sharad Pawar had inducted his daughter Supriya Sule and Praful Patel as working presidents of the party and sidelining his nephew, Ajit Pawar.
Before the swearing-in ceremony, Ajit Pawar resigned his post as Leader of Opposition in the Assembly. The oath ceremony was held at the Maharashtra Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. The Governor, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis were present.
BJP leader and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, in an interview had revealed that in November 2019, Sharad Pawar had extended his support for the BJP. Based on the agreement the BJP went forward. Ajit Pawar and Fadnavis were charged with taking the alliance forward. However, Sharad Pawar abruptly ended the interactions with BJP and joined hands with Congress and Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition and forming the government.