Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: Amidst Reports Of Split In NCP, Ajit Pawar Seeks Ministerial Berth For Praful Patel

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: Amidst Reports Of Split In NCP, Ajit Pawar Seeks Ministerial Berth For Praful Patel

The absence of these five MLAs, Dharmarao Baba Atram, Narhari Zirwal, Sunil Tingre, Rajendra Shingane and Anna Bansode reportedly raised concerns about internal strife within the party.

Prathamesh KharadeUpdated: Friday, June 07, 2024, 01:29 PM IST
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Maharashtra DCM Ajit Pawar | PTI

Mumbai: At least five legislators from Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction did not attend a crucial all-MLAs meeting held at a five-star hotel in Mumbai, according to a report by India Today citing sources. The meeting, convened by Ajit Pawar, was aimed at discussing the fallout from the recent Lok Sabha elections.

The absence of these five MLAs, Dharmarao Baba Atram, Narhari Zirwal, Sunil Tingre, Rajendra Shingane and Anna Bansode reportedly raised concerns about internal strife within the party. Reports indicate that there is growing discontent among party members, with claims from Sharad Pawar's faction suggesting that several MLAs are in contact with them and are considering returning.

Ajit Pawar's NCP is facing dissatisfaction, particularly after a strong defeat in Baramati, where his wife, Sunetra Pawar, lost to Supriya Sule by a large margin. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Ajit Pawar's faction contested four seats but only managed to win one, in Raigad.

NCP MLAs To Jump Ship?

Earlier news reports suggested that 10 to 15 MLAs from Ajit Pawar's camp were in communication with Sharad Pawar's faction. Jayant Patil, the state president of NCP (Sharad Pawar) while speaking to India Today confirmed that several leaders were in touch and that these proposals would be considered at their upcoming meeting on June 9, ahead of their foundation day on June 10.

Patil did not name any leader or any party in his quote, notably. However, there are strong indications that NCP leaders from the Ajit Pawar faction are likely to jump ship. On the other hand, the Ajit Pawar faction dismissed these claims as 'fake news.'

Ministerial Berth For Praful Patel

Amidst this internal turmoil, NCP (Ajit Pawar) leaders are lobbying for a cabinet berth for Praful Patel, aiming to make him the party’s representative in the union government. According to a Hindustan Times report citing insiders, Patel is likely to be assigned the civil aviation ministry, a portfolio he previously held for seven years during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from 2004 to 2011.

Patel also served as the minister of heavy industries and public enterprises between 2011 and 2014. An NCP leader, preferring to remain anonymous, reportedly told the Hindustan Times that securing two cabinet berths would have been more beneficial for the party ahead of the upcoming state assembly polls.

Praful Patel, a seasoned politician, is a six-term Rajya Sabha MP and was elected unopposed for a six-year term in April this year. He has also served as a four-term Lok Sabha MP.

Ajit Pawar Says, 'NDA Coalition To Complete 5 Yrs At Centre'

Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar reached Delhi to attend the NDA Parliamentary Party meeting. The NCP-AP party chief said that the NDA coalition will comfortably complete its five-year term at the Centre. "The government (NDA) will complete its 5-year term. We have around 300 seats so 100 per cent we will complete our term of 5 years. Everything is going to be fine," Ajit Pawar told ANI.

The Maharashtra Assembly elections are due later this year, adding up another challenge for the rebel party. Last year, Ajit Pawar's rebellion against his uncle, Sharad Pawar, led to a split in the NCP. Ajit Pawar, along with several MLAs, later joined the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance 'Mahayuti' in the state. This split created a dynamic and competitive political landscape in Maharashtra, with both factions of the NCP vying for influence and power.

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