Sharad Pawar's NCP asks MLAs to attend meeting; Ajit group also issues notice for its meet

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. File Photo

Mumbai: The Sharad Pawar-led NCP has issued a whip to all MLAs asking them to remain present for a key meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday, while the rival group headed by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has also called a separate meeting of party legislators here.

The one-line whip issued on Tuesday by Jitendra Awhad, chief whip of the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, said the meeting has been called by Sharad Pawar at 1 pm at Y B Chavan Centre on July 5, and the presence of all MLAs is mandatory.

Pawar senior named Awhad as chief whip after nephew Ajit Pawar joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government with eight other MLAs on Sunday.

The Ajit Pawar camp also issued a notice on Tuesday to all current and former legislators, parliamentarians, office-bearers, working committee members and others, asking them to attend a meeting convened by Sunil Tatkare, the Maharashtra unit president appointed by the group, at the MET institute's premises in suburban Bandra on Wednesday.

The notice was issued by Shivajirao Garje, who has been expelled by the Sharad Pawar-led party for "indulging in anti-party activities".

The Ajit Pawar camp has asked Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar to disqualify state NCP president Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhad as MLAs.

NCP working president Praful Patel, who was sacked from the party by Sharad Pawar, on Monday appointed Ajit Pawar as leader of the NCP legislature party, while Anil Bhaidas Patil, who took oath as a minister on Sunday, will continue to be the party whip in the Assembly.

The NCP led by Sharad Pawar has moved a petition before Speaker Narwekar, seeking disqualification of Ajit Pawar and eight other MLAs who have taken oath as ministers in the Eknath Shinde-led government.

The NCP has 53 MLAs in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

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