'Will work for NCP till I'm alive', Ajit Pawar dismisses rumours on shift to BJP camp

Ajit Pawar. File photo: PTI

Pune: There are no permanent allies when it comes to politics. Maharastra politics is once again swarming with the possibility of shifting alliances. Rumours are rife that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar will once again shift to the BJP camp with some MLAs rallying behind him.

Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said he would work for his party till he is alive and scotched speculation that he and a group of MLAs loyal to him might align with the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party.

Talking to reporters here, the Leader of the Opposition said there is not an iota of truth in reports about any rift in the Nationalist Congress Party and his joining hands with the BJP.

We (party MLAs) are all with the NCP. I will work for the NCP till I live, Pawar added.

He also has dismissed as false the reports that he has called a meeting of MLAs on Tuesday.

The NCP leader said he will be in Mumbai on Tuesday.

"I will be present at my office in Vidhan Bhavan for regular work. Reports are being circulated in a section of the media saying I have called a meeting of MLAs on Tuesday. These are completely false reports. I have not called any such meetings of MLAs or officials," he said.

'Majority of NCP MLAs with Ajit Pawar'

Two MLAs of the Opposition NCP on Monday asserted they will remain loyal to their leader Ajit Pawar no matter what "decision" he takes in the coming days, remarks coming amid intense speculation in Maharashtra's political circles about the latter inching closer to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). One of the legislators, Manikrao Kokate, even said if the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly joins hands with the BJP, most of the NCP MLAs (numbering 53) will go with him.

Meanwhile, NDP Chief and Ajit Pawar's uncle Sharad Pawar continues to maintain silence on the matter.

Raut's allegations

Speculation about Ajit Pawar's next political move started swirling last week when he suddenly cancelled his scheduled meetings and also made comments which were seen as being soft on the BJP and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's camp. The BJP is part of the Shinde government.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday added grist to the rumour mill claiming NCP chief Sharad Pawar recently told Uddhav Thackeray that his party will never join hands with the BJP even if anyone takes an individual decision to do so.

In a write-up in the Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece Saamana, Raut had wondered whether Maharashtra politics will witness the "second season of defections".

Earlier this month, Ajit Pawar, nephew of Sharad Pawar, had credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "charisma" for the BJP's victory in 2014 and said inflation and jobs for youth were more important issues than the PM's academic degrees.

When Maharashtra was under President's rule after the results of the 2019 Assembly elections as Shiv Sena had severed ties with BJP and Opposition parties couldn't forge alliances, Ajit Pawar secretly joined hands with Devendra Fadnavis of BJP and a government was formed with Fadnavis as the CM and Ajit as his deputy. However, that government lasted for just 80 hours as Ajit resigned.

After the Shiv Sena (undivided) joined hands with NCP and Congress to form the MVA government, Ajit took oath as deputy chief minister and handled the finance portfolio.

(With PTI inputs.)

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.