Ajit Pawar, Devendra Fadnavis Meet As Sharad Pawar Tweets "No Alliance"

Maharashtra: Ajit Pawar's move was denounced by Sharad Pawar, who told the media that his nephew had misled the Governor, submitting a wrong set of papers to indicate NCP support to the BJP

Maharashtra: NCP's Ajit Pawar has given his backing to BJP; Sharad Pawar has slammed the move

Highlights

  • Ajit Pawar went on a tweeting overdrive, ending with some cryptic ones
  • His tweets indicated Sharad Pawar was on board with plan to support BJP
  • Immediate denial came from Pawar Senior, who called the statement "false"
New Delhi:

Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar on Sunday met BJP's Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, hours after he went on a tweeting overdrive, ending with some cryptic ones that indicated that party chief Sharad Pawar was on board with the plan to support the BJP for government formation in Maharashtra.

An immediate denial came from Pawar Senior, who called Ajit Pawar's statement "false and misleading in order to create confusion".

"There is no question of forming an alliance with @BJP4Maharashtra. NCP has unanimously decided to ally with @ShivSena & @INCMaharashtra to form the government. Shri Ajit Pawar's statement is false and misleading in order to create confusion and false perception among the people," the veteran leader's tweet read.

The 60-year-old nephew of Sharad Pawar had taken oath as the Deputy of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday in a shock twist to the cliffhanger being scripted in Maharashtra.

The move was denounced by Sharad Pawar, who told the media that his nephew had misled the Governor, submitting a wrong set of papers to indicate NCP support to the BJP.  Uddhav Thackeray at his side, Sharad Pawar had declared that his party stands by the prospective alliance and that his nephew had only a handful of supporters.

"I am in the NCP and shall always be in the NCP and @PawarSpeaks Saheb is our leader. Our BJP-NCP alliance shall provide a stable Government in Maharashtra for the next five years which will work sincerely for the welfare of the State and its people," his tweet read.

A second tweet read: "There is absolutely no need to worry, all is well. However a little patience is required. Thank you very much for all your support".

The tweets come ahead of a possible floor test in Maharashtra, for which the government needs 40 more MLAs to prove majority. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the 288-member House. Sena and NCP leaders claim four MLAs are with Ajit Pawar.

The NCP MLAs, who are presently holed up in the Renaissance Hotel, will be shifted to the Hyatt near Mumbai airport. Sources say they are being moved because there is too much disturbance at their current location; the Lalit and JW Marriott, where the Sena and the Congress have stashed their MLAs, respectively, are both nearby.

The NCP says it has the support of all its MLAs, around 50 attended a meeting on Saturday evening in which Ajit Pawar was pulled down from the post of the legislature party leader. The BJP claims it has the support of 54 MLAs of the NCP.

The Supreme Court, where the Sena, Congress and the NCP challenged the governor's decision and demanded a floor test immediately, did not order one on Sunday. It has asked the Centre to produce two important documents, letters of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claiming majority and that of the Governor inviting to form government.

The Centre has to produce them by today. Its appeal for more time - three days - has been turned down by the court.

The Congress, Sena and NCP have said a floor test will prove who has the numbers. They have asked the court to order it immediately, as it did in the case of Karnataka.

In 2018, after the Supreme Court ordered a trust vote in Karnataka, the BJP's BS Yeddyurappa, who had taken oath as the Chief Minister, stepped down saying he didn't have the numbers.

Mr Fadnavis held a meeting with his party leaders on Sunday. Party leader Ashish Shelar said, "We discussed and decided the strategy to comfortably pass our floor test".

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