40 MLAs of Ajit, Shinde in touch with Congress: LoP

Sharad Pawar-led NCP’s state president Jayant also confirmed that some MLAs belonging to the other faction have sent the feelers.
40 MLAs of Ajit, Shinde in touch with Congress: LoP

MUMBAI: Congress MLA and leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar has claimed that 40 MLAs of CM Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and DCM Ajit Pawar-led NCP are eager for “ghar wapsi” (homecoming).

Wadettiwar’s claim drew its strength from the Lok Sabha election results, which he said, demonstrated in which direction the wind was blowing in the state. He forecast that the impact would persist well into the assembly elections.

“We are confident that Maha Vikas Aghadi – an alliance of Congress, Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Uddhav Thaceray-led Shiv Sena -- will return to power in Maharashtra,” Wadettiwar said. “The trend of Lok Sabha elections shows that MVA was ahead in 150 state assembly segments while Mahayuti took leads in 130 of them. The state has a 288-member assembly.

He said 40 MLAs of the other Shiv Sena and NCP factions “realized” that the MVA was coming to power. “That’s the reason they have been calling their original party leaders with Gharvapsi requests,” Wadettiwar said.

Sharad Pawar-led NCP’s state president Jayant also confirmed that some MLAs belonging to the other faction have sent the feelers.

Sources said such MLAs helped the original parties in the Lok Sabha elections. “We are with the BJP for protection from Central agencies. The BJP is no more as powerful as it was in 2014 and 2019. If BJP alliance partners, mainly the JD (U) and TDP, take a different route, the Modi government can collapse,” said a senior leader of the Ajit Pawar faction.

“The ruling Mahayuti is a stopgap arrangement. We have no filial ties to the BJP; what we have is a working relationship,” said the Ajit-Pawar faction leader. “Our ideologies don’t match. By remaining with BJP, we lost our secular Dalit, tribal and minority vote bank. We want to regain that,” he said.

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