MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday night told a gathering of MLAs that he would personally ensure that none of them loses membership for voting against the BJP during the floor test in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
Pawar addressed a joint meeting of 162 MLAs of 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress at a five-star hotel in Mumbai.
"A misinformation is being spread that Ajit Pawar is the NCP's legislature party leader who would issue a whip to all (NCP) MLAs to vote for the BJP (in-floor test). It is being said that whoever defies the whip would lose his membership of the House," Pawar said.
The NCP chief added that he had consulted several constitutional and legal experts and also gone through previous instances on the issue of technicalities.
"I have come to the conclusion that Ajit Pawar, who is removed from his position (as the NCP legislature party leader for joining hands with the BJP in forming a government), has no legal right to issue a whip to MLAs," Pawar said.
"I personally take the responsibility that your membership of the House will not become null and void. People who have acquired power illegally have to be removed now," Pawar said apparently referring to the BJP.
The Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar admitted that differences over sharing the post of Chief Minister led to delays in the formation of the Maharashtra government by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.
He said that earlier the NCP had sought a 30-month sharing of the Chief Minister's post which led to disagreements among the three parties and consensus eluded them virtually till last Friday.