In an interesting twist, nine MLAs belonging to Sharad Pawar’s NCP walked over to the Shiv Sena faction of Eknath Shinde and pledged alliance to him. Ajit Pawar who led this group has been sworn in as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra. Interestingly,9 NCP ministers being sworn in the Maharashtra cabinet. Common factor? Almost all of them have serious income tax or enforcement inquiries pending against them.
Earlier in the day, Ajit Pawar held a meeting with several party leaders and MLAs at his official residence, ‘Devgiri,’ in Mumbai. Among those present were senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal and the party’s working president, Supriya Sule.
NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was in Pune then, claimed to be unaware of the meeting. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that Ajit Pawar, as the leader of the opposition, has the authority to convene a gathering of legislators.
“I do not know exactly why this meeting has been called, but being the leader of the opposition, he [Ajit Pawar] has the right to call a meeting of MLAs. He does that regularly. I don’t have much detail about this meeting,” Pawar stated.