Praful Patel, senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and a trusted associate of Sharad Pawar, expressed a resolute reaction today when asked by the media if he had abandoned the seasoned politician.
Yesterday, Patel was in attendance at the hastily organised swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan, where Ajit Pawar and eight other NCP leaders, under the leadership of Eknath Shinde, officially joined the government in Maharashtra.
This morning, Patel arrived at Ajit Pawar's residence for a meeting regarding power-sharing following the events of yesterday.
The former union minister, when questioned by reporters, said, "We are the NCP and that is what we are doing."
When queried about the speculations regarding a potential Union Minister post for him as part of a post-coup arrangement with Ajit Pawar, Patel said, "We have not discussed anything about Delhi, we have only discussed about the formation of our government in Maharashtra."
Subsequently, Patel was asked if he had "ditched the party and Sharad Pawar." The video shared by news agency ANI depicted the senior politician visibly angered by the question, who then rolled up the car window as the vehicle advanced.
Watch the video here:
The attendance of prominent figures like Patel and Chhagan Bhujbal at yesterday's swearing-in ceremony hinted at the substantial support Ajit Pawar enjoys in this current wave of rebellion.
Patel, when asked if they had gone with the BJP due to ED pressure on them, said on Sunday that he has not a single case against him and he does not need a character certificate from anyone.
He also said that the decision to switch sides and join the Shinde-BJP government was not a decision taken by one or two people but was a collective decision made by majority of leaders and workers of the party.