Curated By: Sanstuti Nath
Last Updated: August 25, 2023, 11:48 IST
Amid the reports of reconciliation within the two factions of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), party stalwart Sharad Pawar on Friday dismissed the notion of a ‘formal split’ within the party and asserted that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar continues to be its leader.
Pawar senior said there was no split within the NCP, and “some leaders” who have left the party were taking a “different political stand”.
“But it cannot be termed as a split,” he asserted.
Pawar was talking to reporters at his hometown Baramati in Pune district, a day after his daughter and party’s working president Supriya Sule said Ajit Pawar is a senior leader and MLA of the party.
The statement came weeks after ‘secret’ meetings between uncle and nephew after the latter, along with several NCP leaders joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
“Now, he (Ajit Pawar) has taken a stand that is against the party, and we have given a complaint to the assembly speaker and are awaiting his response,” NCP’s Baramati MP Sule told reporters on Thursday.
When asked about Sule’s statement that there is no split in NCP and Ajit Pawar was a leader of the party, Pawar senior said, “Yes, there is no question about it.”
“How can anybody say that there is a split in NCP? There’s no question that Ajit Pawar is our party leader,” he said.
“What does a split in a political party mean? A split occurs when a large group in a party is separated at the national level. But no such thing has happened here. Some people left the party, some took a different stand…In democracy it is their right to take a decision,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Pawar had said that some members left the NCP as the Centre had launched an inquiry against them through the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Ajit Pawar and eight other NCP MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-BJP government in the state on July 2. While Ajit took oath as the deputy chief minister, eight other MLAs of NCP were sworn in as ministers.
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar’s faction continues to be part of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi in the state along with the Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress.