Sharad Pawar denies split in NCP; says Ajit Pawar continues to be leader of party

Pune: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Friday asserted that there was no split in the party and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar continues to be its leader.

He also said that some leaders have left the NCP by taking a “different political stand”, but it cannot be termed as a split.

Pawar was talking to reporters at his hometown Baramati in Pune district, a day after his daughter and party’s working president Supriya Sule said Ajit Pawar is a senior leader and MLA of the party.

“Now, he (Ajit Pawar) has taken a stand that is against the party, and we have given a complaint to the assembly speaker and are awaiting his response,” NCP’s Baramati MP Sule told reporters on Thursday.

When asked about Sule’s statement that there is no split in NCP and Ajit Pawar was a leader of the party, Pawar senior said, “Yes, there is no question about it.” “How can anybody say that there is a split in NCP? There’s no question that Ajit Pawar is our party leader,” he said.

“What does a split in a political party mean? Split occurs when a large group in a party is separated at the national level. But no such thing has happened here. Some people left the party, some took a different stand…In democracy it is their right to take a decision,” he added.

Ajit Pawar and eight other NCP MLAs had joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state on July 2.

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