Mumbai: In a serious allegation against the Ajit Pawar faction, NCP leader Rohit Pawar said on Friday that the Ajit Pawar faction of the party is blackmailing the MLAs and getting affidavits for support signed. This serious allegation against the Ajit Pawar faction came against the backdrop of speculations of a senior MP and an MLA switching sides to join the Ajit Pawar faction of the party.
"We have received information that people are being pressured to sign affidavits. They are being told, 'Unless you sign, your projects and proposals won't be considered.' This way, they are being blackmailed," Rohit Pawar said when asked about whether two more members have switched sides.
"The MLAs and MPs strive to resolve problems in their constituencies. If they are being stopped at that stage and blackmailed to sign an affidavit, today they will see a big number, but in the election, they shall understand really how many people are actually with them," Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's nephew Rohit Pawar said.
While speculating about the NCP's petition for disqualification of MLAs from the Sharad Pawar faction, Rohit Pawar said, "The Speaker had gone to Delhi to seek legal advice yesterday. After that, some strategy must have been decided, and accordingly, they must have acted. We are, however, completing the legal procedures under the guidance of Sharad Pawar. The matter will ultimately move to the court, and we are sure that Sharad Pawar shall win in court because in the NCP, the President is the supreme authority."
Meanwhile, speculations are rife over which MP has switched sides in favor of Ajit Pawar. In Lok Sabha, NCP has Dr. Amol Kolhe and Shrinivas Patil, apart from Supriya Sule. Dr. Kolhe was present at the swearing-in ceremony of Ajit Pawar on July 2 at the Raj Bhavan but then decided to be with the Sharad Pawar faction, while Patil, a retired bureaucrat, is said to have been Sharad Pawar's most trusted lieutenant since his days as Pune district collector. The MP is said to have given his affidavit in favor of the Ajit Pawar faction, it is being said.
The Sharad Pawar faction had filed a petition against the Ajit Pawar faction last month, seeking the disqualification of over 40 legislators in Maharashtra for supporting the Ajit Pawar faction. The Ajit Pawar faction too is now learned to have filed a petition to disqualify MLAs who are still with the Sharad Pawar faction of the party. The hearing on this petition is likely to begin on October 6, sources within the party have said, though neither the Speaker nor the assembly secretariat has confirmed it.