While the opposition parties across the country were trying to form a united front to defeat the Narendra Modi-led BJP, a big blow was dealt to the opposition in Western State of Maharashtra. NCP leader Ajit Pawar has made a significant move in Mumbai as he moved to support the Shinde-Fadnavis government along with at least 30 MLAs of the NCP.
Ajit Pawar on Sunday afternoon took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Valse-Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Dhananjay Munde, DharmaraoBaba Atram, Aditi Tatkare, Sanjay Bansode and Anil Patil took oath as ministers in Shinde cabinet.
Rahul Gandhi becoming face of opposition major issue for rebel NCP leaders: Sources
After the big turmoil in the Maharashtra politics, reasons for the sudden split in NCP are being analysed.
As per PTI sources, Supporters of Ajit Pawar were upset after Supriya Sule and Sharad Pawar went to Patna to attend the meeting of opposition leaders and shared the stage with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. It is also being suggested that NCP leaders were not in favour of Rahul Gandhi becoming the face of opposition and a potential candidate for the Prime Minister's position in the upcoming general elections. This factor is being cited as a major reason for the NCP's internal division.
Speculations were rife about Ajit Pawar switching sides for a year
In the NCP, tensions have been brewing for almost a year. Ajit Pawar was reportedly willing to support for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), deviating from the party's official stance and defying the position of Sharad Pawar. Adding to the turmoil, the party has faced scrutiny from central investigation agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), prompting other NCP leaders to raise the issue of aligning with the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government. However, recent attempts by Sharad Pawar to salvage the situation through his retirement announcement seem to have backfired. This turn of events has inadvertently favored the ruling party, as opposition unity appears to have been impacted.
Lalu Yadav had hinted at Gandhi becoming opposition's 'Dulha'
During a recent opposition party meeting in Patna, it is noteworthy that Lalu Yadav had praised Rahul Gandhi and said, "Get ready soon become a Dulha (groom), your mother also desires the same." Lalu also remarked at that time, "You get on the horse, and we will all become the part if your wedding procession."
Lalu Yadav's statement has been interpreted in various political contexts. It is believed that Lalu Yadav has extended his support to Rahul Gandhi in leading the opposition. Consequently, in the upcoming general elections, Rahul Gandhi may not only be the face of the opposition but also a potential candidate for the position of Prime Minister.
Majority of NCP leaders averse to alliance with Congress: Sources
In Maharashtra, the leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have also drawn the same meaning from Lalu's statement. Party sources reveal that a majority of NCP leaders are averse to forging an alliance with the Congress for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Consequently, with the slightest hint from Ajit Pawar, the party leaders swiftly aligned themselves to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), seeing it as a force capable of impeding the Congress's rise. This development unfolded so rapidly that even Sharad Pawar, the party's stalwart, was unable to halt its momentum.