Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar has suddenly cancelled all his party and has reportedly left his official convoy too, sparking speculations of a 2019-like Maharashtra political crisis when he had quietly joined hands with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis to form a government that lasted for only 72 hours.
According to information, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s nephew cancelled all his events scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Pune, with many speculating if he had gone incommunicado with some MLAs of his party.
Some said that seven legislators have been missing too. A source said that rumours started doing the rounds in the backdrop of Ajit’s recent interview and chief minister Eknath Shinde’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday.
Ajit Pawar, like Shinde, is known for such stunts, the source added. The NCP, however, has rubbished the speculations, and said that “dada” is very much in Pune, and will attend all his public commitments on Saturday.
The senior NCP leader had recently revealed that Sharad Pawar and some others in the party had forewarned then-Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray about a possible rebellion in his outfit Shiv Sena, but the latter was confident his MLAs will not take any extreme step.
Ajit Pawar, whose party was a constituent of the Shiv Sena-led MVA along with the Congress, served as deputy chief minister in the Thackeray cabinet.
A section of MLAs of the undivided Shiv Sena, led by then-Cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, had rebelled against Thackeray’s leadership in June last year, leading to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government. The rebel MLAs then teamed up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government under Shinde’s leadership.
Launching an indirect attack on Thackeray, Ajit said some people remained inattentive, instead of showing an urgency. “When the first group of 15 to 16 rebel Sena MLAs went with Shinde, there was an urgent need to keep the remaining flock together. But MLAs were allowed to go wherever they wanted. In the end, 40 of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs joined the Shinde camp,” he added.