Kolhapur: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday once again denied a split in his party, and said while it is true that some MLAs have left, legislators alone do not mean an entire political party.
Talking to reporters here, Pawar asserted that he is the national president of the NCP and Jayant Patil heads its state unit.
“NCP has not split. While it is true that some MLAs have left, MLAs don’t mean a political party. Why give importance to rebels by taking their names,” the former Union minister said when asked if he was being soft on the party rebels.
On Friday, when Pawar was asked about his daughter and party working president Supriya Sule’s statement that NCP has not split and Ajit Pawar continues to be its leader, he said, “Yes…there is no dispute about it.” But hours later, Pawar said he did not make any such statement.
Ajit Pawar and eight other NCP MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state on July 2, creating a split in the Sharad Pawar-founded party.
The NCP chief admitted that some MLAs had written to him on joining the Shinde-led government when the one led by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) collapsed following a split in the Shiv Sena. “But no decision was taken,” he said.
Targeting the BJP-led central government, Pawar said, “I will continue to oppose fascist tendencies. There has been misuse of central probe agencies.” He said a review of the 2024 Lok Sabha election preparations along with joint campaigning will be discussed during the meeting of opposition INDIA alliance scheduled in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1.
“I can see a change in Maharashtra. People are disappointed with those who went with the BJP. I am sure people will give a right mandate in the elections and they will show the BJP its rightful place.” “During the upcoming meeting in Mumbai, a review of Lok Sabha elections along with joint campaigning will be discussed,” Pawar said.
When asked about Kolhapur-based NCP leader Hasan Mushrif joining the Ajit Pawar faction, he said, “Mushrif was facing ED raids. But the action has now stopped. Don’t know with whom he initiated a dialogue for this.” “Mushrif managed to escape by praising the ruling party…,” he said.
Talking about the Chandrayaan-3 mission, Pawar said, “It’s a great success for us. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists should be felicitated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to an ISRO facility to meet the scientists by breaking the protocol, but it is okay.” He criticised PM Modi, saying that the latter does not want local body elections.
“He only thinks about the Lok Sabha elections. He doesn’t want to know the ‘janmat’ (people’s opinion),” the veteran leader alleged.