Maha power tussle: BJP’s backing for Ajit against pact with us, says Shinde camp

Bharat Gogawale said when the alliance with the BJP was formed,  it was decided that Shinde will remain the chief minister till the next elections in 2024.

Published: 24th April 2023 08:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2023 08:29 AM   |  A+A-

FILE PHOTO | Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI:  Amid talks of an impending collapse of Maharashtra’s Eknath Shinde-led government and NCP leader Ajit Pawar being annointed the state’s next chief minister with the blessings of the BJP, the chief whip of Shiv Sena warned that any move from the BJP to help Pawar would go against the pact it signed with Sena. 

Shiv Sena leader Bharat Gogawale said when the alliance with the BJP was formed,  it was decided that Shinde will remain the chief minister till the next elections in 2024. “We will not allow this (Ajit Pawar becoming CM) to happen under any conditions. The given word should be honoured,” Gogawale said.

This comes after Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat had said that his party will not be a part of the Maharashtra government if Pawar is made the CM.

"Our policy is clear about it. The NCP is a party which betrays. We will not be with the NCP even in power. If the BJP takes NCP with them, Maharashtra will not like it. We decided to move out (of the earlier undivided Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray) because people didn't like us going with the Congress and NCP," he said.

ALSO READ| Shinde going, going... Ajit Pawar readies to be Maha successor

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut claimed Shinde’s government will collapse in the next 15 days. Raut said the death warrant of the government has already been issued. “The BJP had told the chief minister to pack his bags. Now that the court verdict will be out, the Shinde government will collapse,” Raut said.

On the other hand, senior BJP leader and revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar has developed the craft of confusing people, but this time Ajit Pawar has confused Sharad Pawar and the state with his ambivalent statements. He said it is difficult to gauge who is thinking what.

Notably, amid speculation surrounding his next political move, Ajit Pawar on Friday said he would "100 per cent" like to become the chief minister. He had also said that NCP can stake a claim to the post of the chief minister "now also" instead of waiting for 2024.

ALSO READ | Sharad Pawar tightens his grip over NCP, tells Ajit not to break it


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