Pawar tightens his grip over NCP, tells Ajit not to break it

He has told his nephew and senior NCP leader Ajit not to break the party and that if he wanted to leave, he could do so or with the help of some NCP MLAs who are under the scanner of Central agencies.

Published: 20th April 2023 08:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2023 08:07 AM   |  A+A-

A file image of Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, used for representative purposes only. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI:  After the lid was blown off the plans of Ajit Pawar to switch sides with the BJP, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has sought to tighten his grip over the party. He has told his nephew and senior NCP leader Ajit not to break the party and that if he wanted to leave, he could do so or with the help of some NCP MLAs who are under the scanner of Central agencies.

NCP MLA and chief whip Anil Patil met Sharad Pawar at his residence and told him not to succumb to any pressure. Anil Patil was earlier was with the BJP and is now perceived close to Ajit Pawar. Patil was one of the MLA who went with Ajit in an 80-hour government with BJP in 2019.

“Pawar also reportedly told him that nothing should be done without his permission even though Ajit Pawar is the leader of the Opposition and de facto boss of the NCP in the assembly. While taking any decision, he should be taken in the loop,” said a highly placed source.

The developments came in the wake of reports that Ajit Pawar would switch to BJP and that he had already started mobilizing 40 MLAs. NCP sources said Ajit Pawar expressed his displeasure to their staff over the leak of his secret operation and meeting with Amit Shah in Delhi.

“Ajit Pawar and other NCP senior leaders who are facing serious charges before the Central probe agencies want to join the BJP as a party, but NCP chief Sharad Pawar has categorically told them that they can do so as an individual, not as a party, at this juncture,” said a senior NCP leader.

Source said the news report and massive coverage to it have spoiled the plan of Ajit Pawar and the BJP.
“The BJP’s top leadership is also upset over the leak of the operation’s details. However, this operation has been halted for some uncertain period. It will resume after the Supreme Court’s verdict on Maharashtra CM Ekanth Shinde faction MLAs’ disqualification for anti-party activities. The Karnataka state assembly results are also very significant for developments in Maharashtra,” said the source.

Ajit Pawar met his party leaders which include senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, Sunil Tatkare, Dilip Walse Patil and Anil Deshmukh to discuss the further persuasion plan to NCP chief Sharad Pawar joining hands with the BJP.

Sources said the NCP leaders who received Central agencies’ notice and are facing charges are requesting Sharad Pawar to accept Ajit’s demand for going with the BJP so that the cases against them are not followed up.

“I am so old that I want relief at this age. I take daily doses of several medicines for sugar and blood pressure. It’s really tough to sit in a Central agency’s office for seven-eight hours. We want to spend time with our families, not in jail. We continue to request Pawar, but he is asking us to wait,” said a 
senior NCP leader who is currently facing an inquiry by a Central agency.


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