Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 6 (ANI): Amid a tussle in the Nationalist Congress Party between Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar held a big meeting on Thursday which Ajit Pawar called “illegal” and said that no one had the authority to call such meetings.
The meeting was attended by leaders including Supriya Sule, Jitendra Awhad, AK Shashidharan, Mohd Faizal, Fauzia Khan, PC Chacko, KK Sharma, K Thomas, Pithambaran Master and others, which focused on several national issues, including recent political developments in Maharashtra, said Mahesh Tapase, Chief Spokesperson of the NCP.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar asserted that his effectiveness remains unchanged regardless of whether he is 82 or 92 years old.
“I am still effective, whether I am 82 or 92,” said Sharad Pawar after the party’s national executive meeting in Delhi in response to recent remarks about his age made by his nephew Ajit Pawar.
Ajit Pawar’s comment stirred discontent among party members and loyalists, triggering a series of reactions.
Ajit Pawar had indirectly blamed Sharad Pawar, who is 82 years old, for the NCP’s missed opportunity to have a Chief Minister in Maharashtra despite having the support of a majority of MLAs in 2014.
Sharad Pawar asserted that he is still the president of the NCP.
“Today’s meeting helped boost our morale. I am president of the NCP,” he said as he presided over a crucial national executive meeting in New Delhi.
Sharad Pawar said, “Now, whatever we need to say, we will say it before the Election Commission of India.”
The working committee of NCP headed by Sharad Pawar has approved his decision of “expelling Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare and nine MLAs who have joined hands with the NDA.”
The working committee of the Nationalist Congress Party passed eight resolutions in the meeting.
Sharad Pawar, who addressed a crucial party meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday, convened a working committee meeting in the national capital.
The working committee approved the decision taken by National President Sharad Pawar to expel Praful Patel, Sunil Tatkare and 9 MLAs from Maharashtra for anti-party activities. They have been absolved of all responsibilities associated with the NCP, announced PC Chacko.
“The working committee also expressed concern regarding communal tension in Manipur and criticised the BJP for misusing central agencies against the opposition. The committee condemned Modi government’s failure in handling price rise, unemployment and women’s safety,” the release stated.
After the meeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived at Sharad Pawar’s residence in Delhi.
Notably, Congress and NCP were alliance partners in Maharashtra with Udhav Thackeray Shiv Sena faction, before Ajit Pawar was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar appointed Narendra Rane as Mumbai’s Working President of the party.
Pawar handed over the appointment letter to Rane and also congratulated him.
However, the Ajit Pawar faction has claimed that the meeting of the national executive, national working committee, national office bearers, and state party presidents of NCP called by Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on Thursday has no legal sanctity.
Ajit Pawar faction claimed that the dispute of representing real NCP is within the jurisdiction of the ECI and no one has any authority to call any meeting till the dispute is settled by the ECI.
“The dispute on the question of who represents the real NCP is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the ECI and therefore no person within the party has any authority to call for any meeting of the National Executive/National Working Committee/ National Office Bearers / State Party Presidents till such time the dispute is finally decided by the ECI,” said a press note released by the Ajit Pawar faction.
“The meeting of the National Executive, National Working Committee, National Office Bearers or State Party Presidents of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on July 6 has no legal sanctity whatsoever,” the statement said.
“Further, any of the decisions which may be taken in the so-called National Executive, National Working Committee, National Office Bearers or State Party Presidents shall have no valid legal basis and shall not be binding on anyone in the Party,” the statement said further.
The statement said that Ajit Pawar has been elected as the National President of NCP on June 30 with the overwhelming support of the majority of elected representatives of NCP as well as the members working on different organizational posts.
“Ajit Pawar has also filed a petition before the Hon’ble Election Commission of India (ECI), stating that he represents the real NCP and therefore, the name of the party along with the symbol be granted to him,” the statement added.
Moreover, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde reacted to Ajit Pawar joining hands with BJP in the state and said that he has expressed confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shinde also said that Maharashtra Government has “become even stronger with the joining of Ajit Pawar.”
Speaking on the development of the state under the double-engine govt, Shinde said that Ajit Pawar too has accepted that there is development in the state and shared thoughts on having a double-engine govt in the state.
Maharashtra CM spoke on the ideology of the party and said that “Our government’s role is to take Balaji Saheb ideology and Hindutva ideology forward and with that, have joined those ideologies with the development of the state.”
Reacting to split in NCP, former Maharashtra CM and senior Congress leader, Prithviraj Chavan said that this shows bitterness that was setting in for years, adding that the “split is real”.
“Maybe there were a few faults in Pawar Saheb’s management of the party. Maybe he sidelined people to push forward his daughter, but this family dispute is affecting the state’s politics. So, I said that the split is real and there is bitterness,” he said.
The NCP is facing a political crisis after Ajit Pawar joined the Shinde-BJP government. Eight other NCP MLAs also took the oath with him as ministers on Sunday. (ANI)
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