The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), led by Sharad Pawar, has taken further steps to address the defection of its members. After initially appealing to the Election Commission (EC) to disqualify 40 of its MLAs, the NCP has now filed two petitions in the Maharashtra Legislative Council seeking the disqualification of five of its MLCs. These actions indicate that these members have switched their allegiance to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
The Deputy Chairperson’s office of the upper house of the state legislature, Dr. Neelam Gorhe, has confirmed the receipt of these petitions. State NCP Chief Jayant Patil filed one of the petitions, seeking the disqualification of Vikram Kale, Amol Mitkari, Satish Chavan, and Aniket Tatkare. The other application was submitted by a party general secretary, requesting the disqualification of former chairman of the house and party member Ramraje Nimbalkar.
Following the NCP’s earlier petition for the disqualification of its MLAs, only 11 members remain loyal to Sharad Pawar’s faction. They include Jayant Patil, Jitendra Awhad, Rohit Pawar, Suman Patil, Ashok Pawar, Sunil Bhusara, Prajakt Tanpure, Balasaheb Patil, Anil Deshmukh, Sandeep Kshirsagar, and Rajesh Tope. Former minister Nawab Malik, who is currently out of jail on health grounds, is reported to have chosen to remain neutral.
In the midst of these developments, the Sharad Pawar faction held a meeting with party office bearers, MPs, and MLAs over the weekend at the Yashwantrao Chavan center. During the meeting, party supremo Sharad Pawar reportedly conveyed that the party’s doors were now permanently closed for the members of the breakaway group, and there was no room for reconciliation.
Pawar also expressed confidence that the party would secure around 70-80 seats in the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) for the upcoming assembly elections and urged party members to start preparing for the polls. Additionally, he instructed party leaders to focus on strengthening the district organization, as Lok Sabha elections could be announced at any time.