Leaders Of Opposing NCP Factions Ajit Pawar And Sharad Pawar Are Assembling
MUMBAI: With the two opposing groups headed by Sharad Pawar, the NCP’s leader, and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar prepared for a showdown, Wednesday may prove to be a turning point in the NCP’s struggle. Both leaders have requested that all MLAs, MPs, and other party officeholders attend meetings they have organized; while Pawar’s conference will take place at the Y B Chavan Centre, the Ajit faction will meet at the MET Bhujbal Knowledge City in Bandra.
To seize control of the party, both factions are currently preparing for an all-out court battle. The anti-defection statute requires the Ajit faction to have at least 36 MLAs in order to be eligible, thus Wednesday’s gathering is an effort by both factions to win over as many party members as possible.
Pawar has personally called lawmakers, MPs, and other top office holders to ask them to stand by him at this difficult time. Pawar is alleged to have remarked to an MLA over the phone, “This is the right time, take the appropriate decision.”
All NCP office holders and leaders are urged to attend the meeting, according to video messages from NCP working president Supriya Sule and state president Jayant Patil. In a 54-second video message, Sule added, “I shall be waiting for you all. Sharad Pawar, an 83-year-old fighter and our adored leader, will be there to lead us all. He will inform us of the party’s future plans and our obligations. The opposition’s chief whip, Jitendra Awhad, also issued a whip instructing all lawmakers to attend Pawar’s meeting.
On the opposing side, Ajit also spoke on the phone with a number of MLAs and senior leaders. In preparation for their attempt to seize control of the NCP, the Ajit faction has received affidavits from legislators and key office holders.