Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar has said he is yet to ascertain whether the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is a part of the Shiv Sena-BJP government or is still in the Opposition. On Sunday, senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar led a vertical split in the party to become deputy chief minister in the one-year-old Shiv Sena-BJP government, shocking his uncle Sharad Pawar, who founded the outfit 24 years ago after quitting the Congress.
Besides Ajit Pawar, eight other NCP MLAs, including Chhagan Bhujbal and Hasan Mushrif, were sworn in as ministers in the Shinde cabinet. Speaking to reporters here on Monday, Narwekar said his office has not yet received any petition mentioning about a split in the party.
Yet to ascertain NCP is in govt or opposition
"I am yet to ascertain whether the NCP is a part of the state government or is still in the Opposition bloc. I will go through the details available before me and take a call on it," he said.
Ajit Pawar was the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly before he took oath as deputy CM.
Petition to disqualify the 9 MLAs
Narwekar said, "I have received only one petition from NCP MLA Jayant Patil seeking disqualification of nine MLAs (Ajit Pawar and eight others who took oath as ministers along with him). There is no written communication from any other leader of the NCP."
No petition about split in NCP
"I have not received any petition mentioning about a split in the party," he stated. Asked how many NCP MLAs have expressed their support to Ajit Pawar, Narwekar said, "I do not have any information on it because there is no written communication from his side. The party-wise strength in the Legislative Assembly still remains unchanged." The Sharad Pawar-led party has 53 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly.
Several representations received regarding recent events
The Speaker said his office has received several representations from legislators related to recent developments in the NCP. "We will look into them, study their legality and then only take a decision," he said without elaborating on the nature of representations received by his office.