NCP removes Ajit Pawar as its Legislature Party leader

PTI

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar chairs a meeting of party MLA's  at YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. At least nine NCP MLAs who attended swearing-in of Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra returned to the party fold and expressed solidarity with party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday evening. (Twitter/PTI Photo)

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar chairs a meeting of party MLA’s at YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. At least nine NCP MLAs who attended swearing-in of Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra returned to the party fold and expressed solidarity with party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday evening. (Twitter/PTI Photo)

Ajit Pawar was removed as the NCP’s legislature unit leader on Saturday, hours after he joined hands with the BJP in a coup and took oath as deputy of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

However, raising an objection to it, BJP leader Ashish Shelar told reporters that Ajit Pawar’s replacement with Jayant Patil was done at the NCP’s legislature wing meeting where all MLAs of the Sharad Pawar-led party were not present.

In a stunning turn of events, Fadnavis on Saturday returned as chief minister propped up by Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy, just hours after the new alliance of Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress reached a consensus that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be their chief ministerial candidate.

Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at a hush hush ceremony here, leading to lifting of the President’s rule in the state.

Ajit Pawar’s volte face created fissures in the NCP, whose chief Sharad Pawar distanced himself from his nephew’s action, saying the decision to back Fadnavis was his personal choice and not that of the party.

On Saturday evening, the NCP removed Ajit Pawar as the party’s legislature unit head, saying his move was not in line with the party’s policies.

The Shiv Sena later approached the Supreme Court against the “arbitrary and malafide actions/decisions” of Governor Koshyari of swearing in Fadnavis.

The BJP and the Sena, which fought the last month’s Assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively.

The Sena, however, broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister’s post.

The Congress and the NCP, both pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats respectively.

(PTI)