NCP leader Ajit Pawar takes oath as Deputy CM of Maharashtra
MUMBAI (PTI)- Marking a vertical split in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), its senior leader Ajit Pawar joined the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government as deputy chief minister on Sunday.
The presence of NCP president Sharad Pawar and party’s working president Supriya Sule at the Opposition meeting in Patna had irked Ajit Pawar and his supporters, sources said. While Ajit Pawar was sworn in as the deputy chief minister by Governor Ramesh Bais at the ceremony held in the Raj Bhawan, eight other NCP leaders took oath as ministers.
Those who were sworn in as ministers are Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Dhananjay Munde, Aditi Tatkare, Dharmarao Atram, Anil Patil and Sanjay Bansode.
Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar, who was present in the Raj Bhawan, said Ajit Pawar has resigned as the leader of opposition (LoP) in the Lower House and he has accepted it.
The political development comes a year after a revolt led by Shinde against the Shiv Sena (then undivided) led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
On June 30, 2022, Shinde sworn in as the CM with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis as the deputy CM.
BJP’s Mumbai unit president and former state minister Ashish Shelar said, “CM Eknath Shinde gave support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save Hindutva. Today, NCP’s major faction led by Ajit Pawar is joining the Shinde and Fadnavis government in a democratic way and extending support to Modiji.” Earlier in the day, Ajit Pawar met some party leaders and MLAs at his official residence ‘Devgiri’ in Mumbai.
Senior NCP leader Bhujbal and party’s working president Supriya Sule were among the leaders present at the meeting. However, Sule left the meeting early.
NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was in Pune, said he was unaware of the meeting.
After the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena snapped ties with long-term ally BJP.
Later, Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in as the chief minister and deputy CM respectively in a hush-hush ceremony at the Raj Bhawan, but their government lasted only 80 hours.
Thackeray subsequently tied-up with the NCP and Congress to form the MVA government.
In June last year, the revolt led by Shinde led to a split in the Shiv Sena and collapse of the MVA government, following which Shinde became the CM with BJP’s support.
Ajit Pawar tweet, With the will of the people of Maharashtra, the support of his colleagues in the Nationalist Congress Party, and the strength of faith, I took the oath of office and secrecy as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state today. I believe that my post will be used for the welfare of the people, for the development of Maharashtra.
महाराष्ट्रातील जनतेची इच्छा, राष्ट्रवादी काँग्रेस पक्षातील सहकाऱ्यांचा पाठिंबा, विश्वासाच्या बळावर आज राज्याचा उपमुख्यमंत्री म्हणून पद व गोपनीयतेची शपथ घेतली. माझ्या या पदाचा उपयोग जनतेच्या कल्याणासाठी, महाराष्ट्राच्या विकासासाठी होईल असा विश्वास देतो. pic.twitter.com/mvZ2oh7w6u
— Ajit Pawar (@AjitPawarSpeaks) July 2, 2023
Clearly BJP’s ‘washing machine’ has resumed operations: Congress’s dig over Ajit Pawar move in Maharashtra
With NCP leader Ajit Pawar and eight other party leaders joining the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government, the Congress on Sunday said that the BJP’s “washing machine” has resumed its operations as a number of these leaders had been facing serious corruption charges and have now got a “clean chit”.
यह साफ है कि BJP की वॉशिंग मशीन ने अपना काम फिर से शुरू कर दिया है। आज महाराष्ट्र में भाजपा के नेतृत्व वाले गठबंधन में शामिल हुए नेताओं में से कई पर भ्रष्टाचार के गंभीर आरोप लगे थे। ED, CBI और इनकम टैक्स के अधिकारी उनके पीछे पड़े थे। अब उन सभी को क्लीन चिट मिल गई है।
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) July 2, 2023
NCP president Sharad Pawar congratulated his nephew, Ajit Pawar, after latter took oath as dy CM of Maharashtra. Speaking over Ajit’s bid to claim over party name and symbol, Pawar said it’s the people who will decide. Pawar asserted that he will expose why the MLAs rebelled.