Mumbai: In an expected move, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) formally splits in Maharashtra with Ajit Pawar walking out of the party with 29 other MLAs.
At a jet speed, even Ajit Pawar was sworn in as deputy chief minister – a position he will share with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. Besides him, nine others who walked out of NCP with Ajit Pawar, were also sworn in as ministers.
Earlier today, a significant gathering of NCP legislators took place at Ajit Pawar’s Mumbai residence. The meeting was attended by the party’s working president Supriya Sule and senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal. However, state party president Jayant Patil was notably absent from the gathering.
The alliance between the NCP and the BJP has caught many by surprise, as the two parties have had contrasting ideologies in the past. The move is expected to bring about a reshuffle in the power dynamics within the Maharashtra government.
According to sources close to Ajit Pawar claims he has the support of 40 of the 53 MLAs.
Ajit Pawar also met some party leaders and MLAs at his official residence ‘Devgiri’ in Mumbai earlier in the day.
Senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal and the party’s working president Supriya Sule were among the leaders present at the meeting. However, NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was in Pune, said he was unaware of the meeting.
Ajit Pawar took the oath as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra for the third time since 2019. Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut expressed his concern over the political developments, referring to the government formation through vertical splits within political parties as a “circus.” He warned that the people of Maharashtra would not tolerate such maneuvers for an extended period.