Lashing out at his nephew Ajit Pawar for joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government in Maharashtra, NCP chief Sharad Pawar Saturday promised disciplinary action. He also warned other NCP MLAs by reminding them of the anti-defection law.
Addressing a press conference along with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Pawar said, “The decision on disciplinary action against Ajit will be taken at the meeting of the party leaders. Action will have to be taken against him. His decision is a breach of party discipline. Every MLA who is changing ship must know that there is an anti-defection law and the possibility of them losing their Assembly membership is high.” READ LIVE UPDATES here
Pawar said 10 to 11 NCP MLAs met Ajit, but three have already come back. He added that BJP would not be able to prove its majority on the floor.
“Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP won 44, 56 and 54 seats in the House. Several Independents were also with us, taking the number to 170 MLAs,” Pawar stated, adding that the situation now has changed since this morning.
“I got to know at 6.45 am from a colleague that Ajit Pawar and some MLAs had gone to Raj Bhavan. I was surprised as to how the Governor’s office was ready this early in the morning. It is good to see the Governor working with such efficiency,” he said.
Sharad Pawar also said he was not aware if his nephew decided to support the BJP out of the fear of the Enforcement Directorate. Ajit is among those named in the multi- crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case.
Uddhav, meanwhile, said, “This is a surgical strike carried out on Maharashtra in the dead of the night, and the people of the state will take revenge.” He accused the BJP of trying to stay in power by breaking parties and said elections are no more needed after what has happened Saturday.
“Earlier, EVM khel was going on and now, this is a new khel (game). From now onwards, I don’t think elections are even needed. Everyone knows what Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj did when he betrayed and attacked from the back,” Uddhav Thackeray told reporters.
Meanwhile, NCP MLA Rajendra Shingne, who had accompanied Ajit to Raj Bhawan but later attended the press conference, said the MLAs were totally unaware of the swearing-in ceremony.
“I received a call from Ajit Pawar in the night asking me to reach his residence at 6 in the morning. Eight-ten MLAs also gathered there by the time I reached. We were not told why we were being taken to Raj Bhawan till the swearing-in took place. As soon as I left Raj Bhawan, I met Sharad Pawar at his residence and told him about my decision to stay with the NCP,” Shingne said.
(With inputs from ENS)