NCP MLAs returning to Sharad Pawar’s camp after poll debacle? Ajit camp denies rumours

NCP MLAs returning to Sharad Pawar's camp after poll debacle? Ajit camp denies rumours

NCP MLAs returning to Sharad Pawar's camp after poll debacle? Ajit camp denies rumours

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After a disappointing performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections, rumours have emerged about Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs potentially returning to Sharad Pawar’s faction. However, the faction led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar firmly denied these claims.

The NCP, under Ajit Pawar, won just one of the four seats it contested, with a strike rate of 25%. “Rumours are being spread deliberately that our MLAs are in touch with Sharad Pawar’s faction. All our MLAs are with us, and we are one team,” Tatkare, a key party leader, stated. These comments came after a core group meeting to review the NCP’s poor election performance, attended by senior leaders including Praful Patel, Hasan Mushrif, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil and Dhananjay Munde.

Another meeting with NCP MLAs is scheduled for the evening to discuss the upcoming assembly election. “We will fight the assembly polls aggressively. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, along with both deputy chief ministers, will decide on unitedly fighting the elections,” Tatkare added.

Tatkare, the only NCP leader to win his Lok Sabha seat, will also participate in the BJP-led alliance meeting in Delhi on June 7. The NDA won 17 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, while the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition, which includes Sharad Pawar’s NCP, secured 30 seats.

Ajit Pawar’s faction secured only one seat, Raigad, in the Lok Sabha elections. Notably, Ajit Pawar’s wife, Sunetra Pawar, lost the Baramati seat to Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar’s daughter.

Ajit Pawar’s decision to join the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in July last year led to a split in the NCP. Some MLAs from Ajit Pawar’s faction are reportedly seeking to reconnect with Sharad Pawar’s camp, especially after the victories of NCP candidates Nilesh Lanke and Bajrang Sonawane in Ahmednagar and Beed, respectively.

Rohit Pawar, the Karjat-Jamkhed MLA and Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew indicated that 18 to 19 MLAs from Ajit Pawar’s camp are interested in returning. NCP (SCP) state president Jayant Patil said the decision to accept returning MLAs rests with Sharad Pawar and will be made after a thorough consultation. Discontent among Ajit Pawar’s MLAs has been growing, especially after securing only four seats out of the 48 constituencies in Maharashtra. A senior NCP leader mentioned that MLAs had supported Ajit Pawar hoping the party would grow within the Mahayuti government.