Maharashtra: Meeting Between NCP (SP) Chief Sharad Pawar & 5 MLAs Of Ajit Pawar Faction Spark Buzz Of Possible 'Gharwapsi'

Maharashtra: Meeting Between NCP (SP) Chief Sharad Pawar & 5 MLAs Of Ajit Pawar Faction Spark Buzz Of Possible 'Gharwapsi'

None of the five MLAs were available to the media for any comment or confirmation but their names are known to leaders from both sides, as the meetings between them and the NCP (Sharad Chandra Pawar) state president happened in public view.

Rohit ChandavarkarUpdated: Tuesday, July 02, 2024, 11:24 AM IST
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Sharad Pawar | PTI

Mumbai: A meeting between Sharad Pawar and as many as five Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from the Ajit Pawar NCP, during the ongoing monsoon assembly session in Mumbai sparked a buzz at the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai that these leaders were possibly in negotiation with Sharad Pawar’s NCP about a possible return to his fold. 

A Top Leader On The Meeting

A top NCP leader said that Ajit Pawar had now opened lines of communication with all five MLAs, to persuade them to remain with him. None of the five MLAs were available to the media for any comment or confirmation but their names are known to leaders from both sides, as the meetings between them and the NCP (Sharad Chandra Pawar) state president happened in public view. 

About The MLAs

One of the MLAs is from Satara district, another from Pune district and a third one from Ahmednagar district met state NCP (SCP) president  Jayant Patil last week, at Vidhan Bhavan. Party activists from both camps were surprised to see that this meeting happened in full public view, right at the heart of all the political action, while the assembly session was on.

Apart from this, two other MLAs, including one from Nashik district, had discussions with Jayant Patil at other locations, according to sources close to Patil. Naturally, this matter has sent shockwaves in the Ajit Pawar camp and many are now anticipating action by Ajit Pawar.

Speaking to the media in Pune on Saturday, NCP founder Sharad Pawar said, “I am aware that many leaders from other parties have met our state party president in Mumbai. I am in touch with him about this. All I can say is that we are open to taking back certain leaders or public representatives. We have not put a ban on all those who left but will take a call on a case-by-case basis.”

Claim Made By Former MP Suryakanta Patil

Last week, former MP Suryakanta Patil, who had left the NCP to join the BJP in 2014, returned to NCP. At a media conference in Mumbai, Suryakanta Patil claimed that many senior and junior leaders from the Marathwada region had contacted her to talk about wanting to join Sharad Pawar’s NCP.

The ground reality is that Sharad Pawar’s NCP does not have strong candidates of its own in these five MLAs’ constituencies and Pawar must perhaps be eager to welcome them back at such a time. A leader from the Ajit Pawar NCP said that their party was also in touch with the MLAs who met Jayant Patil in Mumbai.

“Nothing is final and we are sure nobody will leave,” he claimed.

“Some of the MLAs from this group of five have been promised official funds for their constituencies, while others have been offered legislative council berths in the governor’s quota in the event of their constituency going to the BJP in seat-sharing talks,” said another leader close to Ajit Pawar.

Biggest Worry Of MLAs Belonging To Ajit Pawar Camp

The biggest worry for most of the MLAs from the Ajit Pawar camp is that they may lose their constituency if their seat is handed over to Mahyuti partner BJP or the Eknath Shinde Shiv Sena in the upcoming assembly seat-sharing discussions.

Now, Ajit Pawar’s party is undertaking an exercise to convince these leaders that they will be accommodated in the state legislative council, in case they don’t get candidatures in their own assembly constituency.

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