Maharashtra NCP crisis updates | Fight for NCP symbol reaches Election Commission

Ajit Pawar said he aspires to be Chief Minister, takes retirement jibe at Sharad Pawar; and appears to be ahead of uncle in NCP numbers game in Maharashtra. 

July 05, 2023 01:09 pm | Updated 09:25 pm IST

NCP chief Sharad Pawar speaks during NCP meeting at Y.B. Chavan Centre in Mumbai.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar speaks during NCP meeting at Y.B. Chavan Centre in Mumbai.

The Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar factions of the Nationalist Congress Party held their meetings in Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in south Mumbai and in Bhujbal Knowledge City in suburban Bandra, respectively, on Wednesday.

In a dramatic turn of events which followed months of speculation that he was cosying up to the ruling BJP, Ajit Pawar led a vertical split in his party and joined hands with the NDA on July 2 afternoon.

Here are the latest updates:

  • July 05, 2023 17:01
    BJP leaders retire at 75: Ajit Pawar’s jibe at 83-year-old Sharad Pawar

    Surrounded by party workers, including 32 of NCP’s 53 MLAs, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar reminded his 83-year-old uncle Sharad Pawar that it was time for him to retire.

    “In BJP, leaders retire at 75, when are you going to stop,” Ajit Pawar said.

    “Everybody has his innings. The most productive years are from 25 to 75 years,” 63-year-old Ajit Pawar said.

    He also blamed Sharad Pawar for NCP losing out on the chance to have a chief minister in 2004. “We had more MLAs than Congress in 2004, but our senior leader allowed Congress to bag the CM’s post,” he said.

    “For us, Saheb (Sharad Pawar) is a deity and we have deep respect for him,” he said.

    “IAS officers retire at 60. Even in politics, BJP leaders retire at 75. You can see the example of L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi,” Ajit Pawar said.

    “You are 83, aren’t you going to stop? Give us your blessings and we will pray that you live a long life,” Ajit Pawar said.

  • July 05, 2023 16:27
    ‘Let them be happy there’: Sharad Pawar

    Mr. Sharad Pawar said that senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal informed him that he will go to Ajit Pawar’s place and assess the situation there. However, to his surprise, Mr. Bhujbal went ahead and took an oath as a Minister.

    There is a difference between Shiv Sena and BJP. BJP destroy alliances.... Let them be happy there. We will work together,” Mr. Sharad Pawar said.

  • July 05, 2023 16:15
    Won’t let anyone snatch our symbol: Sharad Pawar

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that he won’t let anyone snatch his party’s symbol after Ajit Pawar’s petition to the Election Commission claiming the Nationalist Congress Party symbol.

    “Previously, I fought on many symbols. My face (photographs by rival group) is being used everywhere. It won’t work for them,” Mr. Sharad Pawar said.

  • July 05, 2023 16:11
    Election Commission receives Ajit Pawar’s petition claiming the party symbol

    The battle for control of the NCP reached the Election Commission on Wednesday with the poll body receiving a petition from Ajit Pawar claiming the party symbol and 40 affidavits in his support from Members of Parliament and legislators of his faction. The Sharad Pawar group has filed a caveat urging to be heard first.

  • July 05, 2023 16:09
    Hurdles are being created by those who don’t want welfare: Sharad Pawar

    NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said that those who don’t want welfare of people are creating hurdles.

    “We have to march ahead, there are many hurdles before us,” Mr. Sharad Pawar said.

    He further added that although he is not in power, he is still connected with people. On his nephew Ajit Pawar’s rebellion, Mr. Sharad Pawar said,“ If Ajit Pawar had any concerns or issues, he should have approached me directly. If he had something on his mind, he could have spoken to me.”

    “We are not hungry for power. We will keep working for the people,” he said.

    He further questioned Mr. Ajit Pawar and said, “If NCP was corrupt, why did you take them in NDA?... Whatever happened to (Shiv Sena (UBT)) Uddhav Thackeray (a year ago) has been repeated,” he added.

  • July 05, 2023 15:13
    I’ve been unjustly portrayed as a villain: Ajit Pawar

    I have been unjustly portrayed as a villain, Ajit Pawar said. He said that Sharad Pawar is revered as their deity, and they seek his blessings.

    In a veiled dig at the lack of leadership transition within the party, Ajit Pawar said, “It is not our mistake that we weren’t born to ‘certain people’.

    “Back in 2017, we held a meeting at Varsha Bungalow (CM’s official residence) as well. Under the leadership of Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patel, myself, and several others attended the meeting. Several BJP leaders were also present. We engaged in discussions regarding the allocation of cabinet portfolios and guardian ministers. However, subsequently, our party leadership took a step back, “ the Deputy CM recounted.

    Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar addressing leaders of his faction at Bandra. Photo: Special Arrangement.

  • July 05, 2023 14:56
    What is the reason behind this stubbornness?: Ajit Pawar asks Sharad Pawar

    Ajit Pawar said that during the split between Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde last year, all NCP MLAs penned letters to party president Sharad Pawar, conveying their inclination to join the government. “I don’t know why our request was denied. I still have photocopies of all letters,” he said.

    “All retire at certain age, including leaders in BJP at 75 years. “Encourage us. Correct us if we are wrong. Give opportunity to younger generation. Will you ever stop or not? Bless us. You resign and then retract your own decisions. I am unsure why,” says Ajit Pawar.

    “I became DCM five times, which itself is a record. Even I want to become Chief Minister and lead the State,” he further said.

    The Maharashtra Deputy CM stressed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come back to power in 2024.

  • July 05, 2023 14:34
    Ajit Pawar says PM Modi a ‘charismatic’ leader

    Deputy CM Ajit Pawar hailed PM Modi and said people vote for him due to his charismatic image. “The support for PM Modi is unprecedented, as people vote for him due to his charismatic image,” he said.

    “Nine MLAs took oath as ministers. More MLAs from our party will become Minister,” said Ajit Pawar.

    “During the 2004 Assembly election, the NCP had a larger number of MLAs compared to the Congress. If we had not conceded the Chief Minister position to Congress back then, Maharashtra would have had a Chief Minister solely from the NCP to this day,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

  • July 05, 2023 14:15
    NCP Chief Sharad Pawar arrives at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre to attend party meeting

    The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar arrived at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre on Wednesday to attend the party meeting in a show of strength. The meeting at YB Chavan Auditorium has a picture of Sharad Pawar on the stage. A total of 13 MLAs, 3 MLCs, and 5 MPs are present at the party meeting called by Sharad Pawar at the Chavan Centre.

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar along with his MLAs at the Y.B. Chavan Centre in Mumbai.

  • July 05, 2023 14:09
    This not a new development, we wanted to join the government last year: Praful Patel

    NCP (Ajit Pawar faction) MP Praful Patel stated that during the split between Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde last year, all NCP MLAs asked party president Sharad Pawar, expressing their desire to join the government.

    He said that this development has been in progress since then and is not a recent occurrence.

    “Saheb, please understand our feelings and bless us,” the former Union Minister said. “Everyone knew that Praful Patel means the shadow of Sharad Pawar,” Mr. Patel said. “Even though we have joined hands with the BJP, we remain steadfast in adhering to and upholding our ideology,” Mr. Patel added.

  • July 05, 2023 13:52
    NCP chief Sharad Pawar reaches YB Chavan Centre

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar reached the YB Chavan Centre, where a meeting has been called. Mr. Pawar’s supporters have already gathered at the venue as a show of support.

    “Our meeting starts at 1 p.m. People will come here. I don’t believe that 40 MLAs are supporting Ajit Pawar. Most of the MLAs are with Pawar saheb,” NCP leader Mahesh Tapase said.

    Mumbai: NCP workers at YB Chavan centre ahead of the meeting of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in Mumbai, Wednesday, July 5, 2023. Both factions of NCP led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have called for separate meetings. (PTI Photo/Shashank Parade)(PTI07_05_2023_000028A)

  • July 05, 2023 13:50
    Ajit Pawar ahead in numbers game; 35 of 53 NCP MLAs attend his meeting

    As many as 35 of 53 NCP MLAs were present at the party meeting convened by Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar in Mumbai on Wednesday, party sources said.

    The number will increase further, the sources said. Five of eight NCP MLCs are also attending the meeting taking place in suburban Bandra, they said. -PTI

  • July 05, 2023 13:21
    30 NCP MLAs reach Ajit Pawar’s meeting

    So far, 30 NCP MLAs reached Ajit Pawar’s meeting at MET, Bandra.

    “Saheb (Sharad Pawar) is our Lord Vittal. Please give us your blessings,” Ajit Pawar faction’s NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal said.

    “Saheb, when you left Vasantdada, he experienced the same emotions you’re feeling now. When I felt Balasaheb, he felt the same way… when Dhananjay Munde left late Gopinath Munde, he felt the same way that you are feeling today. However, prospered in their respective lives” Ms. Bhujbal said.

    “Saheb, today you are surrounded by antagonists… please leave them and come with us,” says Mr. Bhujbal. We have done all the due diligence before taking oath. More than 40 MLAs and MLCs are with us, he added.

    The Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar factions of the Nationalist Congress Party are holding their meetings in Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in south Mumbai and in Bhujbal Knowledge City in suburban Bandra, respectively, on Wednesday.

  • July 05, 2023 13:16
    “It is not true that all our leaders are happy with NCP joining us”: Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) leader Shirsat signals disquiet in party

    In a sign of disquiet in the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) over the NCP faction led by Ajit Pawar joining the Maharashtra government, its leader Sanjay Shirsat on Wednesday said that all party leaders were not happy over the development and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will decide the course of action now. -ANI

  • July 05, 2023 13:16
    Lok Sabha polls can be held in December 2023: Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew Rohit Pawar

    Amid a showdown between Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar for control of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), MLA Rohit Pawar, the grandnephew of the 82-year-old veteran politician claimed that Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections may be held ahead of schedule.

    Rohit Pawar said four days ago officials received instructions to begin checking Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) or start manufacturing EVMs. “This shows that Lok Sabha elections may be held in December 2023. Maharashtra Assembly election, which is slated for October 2024, may be held alongside Lok Sabha polls,” Rohit Pawar said. ”The checking reports of EVMs are taken 5-6 months before Lok Sabha or State elections and four days ago some Maharashtra officials were instructed to start repairing and manufacturing EVMs. This indicates that Lok Sabha elections can be conducted in December 2023, he said while talking to the reporters.

    Rohit Pawar claimed that the main reason behind this move is the loss of the BJP in the Karnataka elections. “The party lost in Karnataka and the same situation can arise in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and other States. -ANI

  • July 05, 2023 13:12
    NCP chief Sharad Pawar leaves his bungalow for meeting at YB Chavan Centre.

    The Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar factions of the Nationalist Congress Party are holding their meetings in Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in south Mumbai and in Bhujbal Knowledge City in suburban Bandra, respectively, on Wednesday.

    WhatsApp Image 2023-07-05 at 13.08.30.jpeg

  • July 05, 2023 13:03
    Only Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya now left to be inducted into BJP: Saamana

    Days after NCP leader Ajit Pawar joined the Maharashtra government, the Shiv Sena (UBT) on Wednesday claimed that only alleged economic offenders Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya were left to be inducted into the BJP.

    An editorial in the Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ dubbed the political situation in Maharashtra in a movie, called “One (doubt) Full and two half”, a reference to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and two Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar. -PTI

  • July 05, 2023 13:02
    Posters outside Sharad Pawar’‘s residence: 83-year-old warrior waging lone battle

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s supporters thronged his residence in south Mumbai on Wednesday, hours ahead of the show of strength meetings convened by him and his nephew Ajit Pawar who has parted ways to become Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister.

    Outside Silver Oak, the senior Pawar’s residence in south Mumbai, a party worker was seen carrying a banner which read: ‘83-year-old warrior waging a fight alone’. -PTI

  • July 05, 2023 12:57
    Ajit Pawar reaches venue of meeting called by him to show that he enjoys support of most of NCP MLAs

    Ajit Pawar reached MET Bandra, the venue where he has called a meeting to show the strength of support of the NCP MLAs.

    In the midst of the NCP crisis, Ajit Pawar summoned all NCP MPs, MLAs, MLCs, district heads, and State delegates for a meeting today at MET Bandra.

    “The exact number of leaders can be seen on the stage,” Pawar Jr.’s supporter and Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said.

  • July 05, 2023 12:56
    40 out of 53 legislators with Ajit Pawar: NCP leader Anil Patil

    NCP leader Anil Patil said that 40 of the 53 party legislators are with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

    Both factions of NCP are claiming that they have the most number of legislators with them.

  • July 05, 2023 12:55
    NCP leaders arrive in Mumbai ahead of show of strength meeting

    Supriya Sule, Anil Deshmukh, and other NCP leaders arrived at the YB Chavan Centre in South Mumbai, ahead of an apparent show of strength meeting convened by party supremo Sharad Pawar.

    Deputy CM and leader of a rebel group within the NCP, Ajit Pawar, also departed from his official residence to hold a separate meeting with his faction of leaders at MET Bandra.

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