Maharashtra Pawar tussle: Uncle, nephew trade barbs at strength-show meetings | Top points

Maharashtra Pawar tussle: Uncle, nephew trade barbs at strength-show meetings | Top points

By India Today News Desk: Ajit Pawar, who led a shock rebellion on Sunday, split the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and took oath as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, is currently leading his uncle Sharad Pawar in terms of numbers of MLAs backing him.

The newest deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra flaunted 31 MLAs at a meeting of his faction today, while 13 showed up to Sharad Pawar’s huddle. A clean majority is not enough and Ajit Pawar will have to gather at least 36 legislators to be the “real NCP”. Eleven absent legislators have kept hope alive for Ajit Pawar.

Here are the top developments of the day:

  • Ajit Pawar addressed MLAs and MLCs at a key party meeting today and reiterated his “tremendous respect” for Sharad Pawar, even as he blamed his uncle for the NCP losing out on the chance to have a chief minister in 2004 despite having more MLAs than Congress. The meeting was attended by 31 NCP legislators.

    At the meeting, Chhagan Bhujbal, a veteran NCP leader in the Ajit Pawar camp, said that the decision to join the Sena-BJP alliance was taken after careful consideration. After the meeting, the leaders were moved to a five-star hotel in Mumbai’s suburban Bandra.

    Also Read | Want to become Maharashtra CM: Ajit Pawar at mega NCP meet against Sharad Pawar

  • The Pawar tussle escalated further as Ajit Pawar mocked his uncle over his age, saying that people over 80 should retire and bless others. The apparent jibe was not taken lightly by Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, who cited Ratan Tata, Amitabh Bachchan and Warren Buffett and their continuing careers.

    “People are saying that some people are old, and so they should only give blessings. Ratan Tata, Amitabh Bachhan, Warren Buffet, all these people are older. Farooq Abdullah is three years older than Sharad Pawar, but he said Sharad should fight,” she said.

  • Stung by his nephew and political heir, Sharad Pawar chaired a meeting of his loyalists. After the meeting, the senior Pawar said: “We don’t have a hunger for power and will keep working for the people.” He lashed out at the BJP for forging an alliance with a party it called “corrupt”.

    “You (BJP) called the NCP corrupt. So, why have you allied with the NCP now? Whatever happened to Uddhav Thackeray has been repeated,” the NCP chief said, adding, “The party symbol is with us, it is not going anywhere. The people and party workers who brought us to power are with us.”

    Also Read | Uddhav Sena hopeful of ‘ghar vapsi’ after unrest in Shinde camp over NCP drama

  • In another bolt from the blue, the Ajit Pawar faction, in a petition to the Election Commission of India today, claimed that at the national executive meeting of the party on June 30, two days before the coup, members of the NCP elected Ajit Pawar as the party’s national president through a resolution which was “signed by an overwhelming majority”.

    The meeting was called by the party’s working president, Praful Patel. In response, Sharad Pawar said it was not a working committee meeting since several members were not informed and no notice was issued for that meeting.

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