NCP (SP) MLA Rohit Pawar and Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.
NCP (SP) MLA Rohit Pawar and Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.Photo | Express

18 to 19 MLAs from Ajit-led NCP to switch sides after monsoon session, claims Rohit Pawar

The grandnephew of Sharad Pawar said 83-year-old, along with other NCP(SP) leaders, will take a decision on whom to take back into the fold.

MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party (SP) leader Rohit Pawar claimed on Monday that as many as 18 to 19 MLAs of the ruling NCP led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will cross over to their side after the upcoming monsoon session of the state legislature.

Talking to reporters here, Rohit Pawar maintained that there are several NCP MLAs who have never spoken ill against party founder Sharad Pawar and other senior leaders after the July 2023 split in the outfit.

"But they have to attend the legislature session and get development funds for their constituencies. So they will wait till the session ends (before making the switch over)," said the grandnephew of NCP (SP) president Sharad Pawar.

"There are 18 to 19 (NCP) MLAs who are in touch with us and Pawar saheb," and they will cross over to their side after the monsoon session, the opposition legislator claimed.

Sharad Pawar and other NCP (SP) leaders will take a decision on whom to take back into the fold, said the MLA from Karjat-Jamkhed in Ahmednagar district.

The undivided NCP had won 54 assembly seats in the 2019 polls.

When the party split in July 2023, the Ajit Pawar-led faction had claimed the support of around 40 MLAs.

The monsoon session of the legislature will begin on June 27 and end on July 12. This will be the last session before the state heads for assembly elections, which are due in October.

Rohit Pawar stated that NCP Rajya Sabha MP Praful Patel had been quoted as saying when the next Union Cabinet expansion takes place, he will become a minister.

"This means Praful Patel has full hold over Ajit Pawar's party. It needs to be checked if Ajit Pawar separated (split) for development or to save Praful Patel from the ED," he asked.

On June 9, the NCP turned down the BJP's offer to accommodate Patel as a minister of state with independent charge in the new NDA government.

The Ajit Pawar-led party is a BJP ally and constituent of the ruling NDA. In the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, the NCP (SP) won eight seats in Maharashtra, while the NCP bagged just one.

The New Indian Express