Sharad Pawar had 4 meetings with BJP: Maha minister Girish Mahajan

MUMBAI: State rural development minister, Girish Mahajan from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that after the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly election in 2019, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar held four meetings with BJP leaders in New Delhi for the formation of a government in the state, however, he eventually backtracked and in fact 'back-stabbed' his party.

BJP had fought the polls in alliance with its traditional partner in the state the united Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray, however not happy at being ignored as the chief minister, Thackeray quit BJP and joined hands with NCP and the Congress Party to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance and became its first CM.

Mahajan also claimed that the early-morning swearing-in on 23 November 2019, of senior Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister under Devendra Fadnavis as CM after the last Assembly polls was a 'googly' played by Sharad Pawar. 

Ajit Pawar had on that day defected from the NCP and was sworn in as the Deputy CM as he submitted a paper with the signatures of NCP's MLAs to the Governor to prove his party's support along with Devendra Fadnavis of BJP becoming the CM. The government however collapsed less than 80 hours later making way for the MVA-led government.

Mahajan claimed that Ajit Pawar was also part of the meetings held in the presence of Sharad Pawar and the claim to form a government (in 2019) was on the basis of the NCP's assurances of support. He claimed, "After the early morning swearing-in, Sharad Pawar said it was the BJP's move but actually it was his own googly. He has a tradition of doing such things."

On 2 July 2023, Ajit Pawar again split the NCP and joined the BJP and Eknath Shinde led Shiv Sena's coalition and was again sworn in as Deputy CM for the fourth time along with several NCP rebels being made ministers in the state cabinet. 

Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar speaking at a rally in Kolhapur said that when the Uddhav Thackeray-led government was about to collapse, almost all NCP MLAs had written a letter to the party chief Sharad Pawar asking him to join the government by supporting the BJP. "If what I say is wrong, then I will retire from active politics immediately, but if my claim is right, then those spreading lies should retire," he said.

Since his defection from NCP Ajit Pawar has staked claim to be the official NCP party chief and has also petitioned the election commission to allot his group the official party symbol. Sharad Pawar-led group has strongly objected to this and written to the election commission that Ajit Pawar's claim must be dismissed as his group does not represent the real NCP.


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