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With Ajit Pawar by his side, Praful Patel says, "Request Sharad Pawar with folded hands..."

Ajit Pawar, who was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister yesterday in the Eknath Shinde government, was unanimously elected as the leader of the legislature party, Praful Patel said.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick Mumbai Published on: July 03, 2023 18:25 IST
NCP, Maharashtra
Image Source : PTI NCP leaders at a press conference

NCP's request to Sharad Pawar: NCP leader and MP Praful Patel, who was among the two leaders disqualified by party supremo Sharad Pawar, on Monday (July 3) said that the group of leaders from the party who extended support to the NDA government in Maharashtra have appointed Sunil Tatkare as the state president of the party.

Ajit Pawar, who was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister yesterday in the Eknath Shinde government, was unanimously elected as the leader of the legislature party, Patel said.

This comes moments after Sharad Pawar announced the disqualification of two rebel MPs Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare for their anti-party activities. Patel was present at the Raj Bhavan yesterday during the oath-taking ceremony on July 2.

In a joint press briefing in which Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, and Sunil Tatkare were present, Patel said that Sharad Pawar is their 'guru' and urged him with 'folded hands' to bless them.

"We are relieving Jayant Patil of his responsibilities and in his place, I am appointing Sunil Tatkare as Maharashtra President of NCP. Sunil Tatkare will have the authority to make organisational changes in the party. Ajit Pawar has been unanimously elected as the leader of the legislature party. We have informed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker about our decision. We request him (Sharad Pawar) with folded hands to give us his blessings as he is our guru," he said.

Patel also announced the appointment of Anil Bhaidas Patil as the chief whip of NCP in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

What Ajit Pawar said?

Speaking on the occasion, Ajit Pawar who became the Deputy Chief Minister in the NDA government for the second time in 4 years, mentioned the action initiated against nine MLAs and said, "I have come to know from media reports that action is been taken against our 9 MLAs. In this context, we have sent an application to Maharashtra Assembly Speaker to disqualify Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhad."

Notably, NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) on Sunday appointed Awhad the Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly after Ajit, who held the position earlier, joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government.

Ajit Pawar said that they have taken the decision to join the NDA government in Maharashtra for the betterment of the state.

When asked who will be the national president of the party now, he said, "Have you forgotten that Sharad Pawar is the party's national president?"

He added that the party will function very well.

Sunil Tatkare, who was also present at the press conference, said that he has taken over as the State president of the Nationalist Congress Party.

"I will strengthen the party in Maharashtra. I have taken into confidence all leaders of the party. I have also called a meeting of all the legislators and zila parishad leaders," he said.

What Sharad Pawar said?

"I, as the National President, Nationalist Congress Party hereby order removal of the names of Shri Sunil Tatkare and Shri Praful Patel from the Register of Members of NCP Party for anti-party activities," Pawar tweeted.

His tweet came shortly after his daughter and party's working president Supriya Sule asked him to take disciplinary action against the two rebel MPs.

"I write with great urgency to inform you that 2 (two) Members of Parliament of Nationalist namely Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare, have acted in violation of our Constitution, Rules of our Party and have also indulged in anti-party activities by facilitating and spearheading swearing of oath of 9 (nine) MLAs as Cabinet Ministers of Government of Maharashtra,” she said in the letter.

“The fact these defections were done in such secretive manner, without the knowledge or consent of the Party President, amount to desertion of the party which in turn invites disqualification,” Supriya added.

The NCP has 53 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly and Ajit needs the support of at least 36 legislators to not attract the provisions of anti-defection law. Sharad Pawar camp initiated legal action against Ajit and MLAs joined the Eknath government.

(With ANI inputs)

ALSO READ | Maharashtra NCP crisis: Sharad Pawar disqualifies Praful Patel, Sunil Tatkare

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