Thursday, July 18, 2024

‘I will rebuild NCP, no matter if I’m 83 or 92’: Sharad Pawar

Unfazed by his party’s split, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that rebels will have to pay the price after he expelled his trusted aide Praful Patel and nine MLAs who joined the government.

“I am the President of NCP. If someone says that (he is the president), it is completely false and there is no truth in it. There’s no importance if someone (Ajit Pawar) says anything. I will rebuild the party, it doesn’t matter if I am 82 or 92,” NCP Chief Sharad Pawar told the media after chairing the NCP national executive meeting at his residence.

Pointing towards the rebel party leaders, including his nephew, who was instrumental in splitting NCP, Sharad Pawar said, “Rebels will have to pay the price.”

He said that NCP will approach the Election Commission on the issue of the party’s name and symbol. “We believe in the Election Commission of India. Now, whatever we need to say, we will say it before the Election Commission of India.”

He said that today’s meeting helped boost his morale.

Meanwhile, NCP leader P. C. Vhacko said: “The Working Committee of the NCP approved the decision of Sharad Pawar of expelling Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare along with 9 MLAs who have joined hands with NDA.”

Chacko said that the Working Committee passed eight resolutions.
“The Committee has expressed full faith in the president (Sharad Pawar). Not a single of the 27 state committees has opposed Sharad Pawar. The organisation is intact,” Chacko added.

The meeting at the residence of Sharad Pawar was attended by party’s working president Supriya Sule and 13 leaders, including Chacko, Jitendra Awhad, Fauzia Khan and Vandana Chavan.

The meeting holds significance as the Ajit Pawar faction had moved the Election Commission to claim the name and symbol of the party and that they have the backing of a majority of the party’s MLAs. The Ajit Pawar-led camp claimed the backing of 40 elected party officials (MLAs, MLCs, and MPs).

The meeting in the national capital comes a day after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar both held a meeting separately in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Ajit Pawar had split the NCP and took oath as Deputy Chief Minister along with eight Ministers in the BJP-Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra.

The meeting called by Ajit Pawar on Wednesday was attended by around 30 MLAs, his first meeting in Mumbai. The claims-counterclaims notwithstanding, senior leaders put the figures at 35 on Ajit Pawar side and 18 in Sharad Pawar’s camp, though the real picture has yet to emerge.

The NCP has 53 MLAs and Ajit Pawar would require the support of two-thirds – at least 36 legislators – without attracting the provisions of the anti-defection laws.

Earlier in the day, a poster war erupted with the party’s student wing putting up posters outside the party office dubbing Ajit Pawar as ‘gaddar’ and also removing the old posters.

The poster was put outside the NCP office here.

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