Time to support fresh faces within NCP: Sharad Pawar hints at shutting door on rebels
The NCP suffered a huge jolt in July after its key figure and Sharad Pawars nephew Ajit Pawar and eight senior leaders joined the ruling dispensation of Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the BJP by taking oath as ministers. People do not approve of forming such governments by breaking other parties, he said.
Nationalist Congress Party founder Sharad Pawar on Sunday hinted that he might not be keen to take back the rebel NCP leaders, asserting that new faces in the party should be backed. He was addressing a gathering at Mumbai's Y B Chavan Centre. The NCP suffered a huge jolt in July after its key figure and Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar and eight senior leaders joined the ruling dispensation of Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the BJP by taking oath as ministers. "Some people ask me what is to be done if those who have joined the government try to come back. We are not going to take any decision about it. There is a view within the party that those who are new and fresh should be given support ahead of elections," said the NCP president.
The Sharad Pawar-led faction of the NCP on Saturday said it has told the Election Commission that there was no dispute in the party, except that a few "mischievous" individuals have defected from the organisation for their personal ambitions, a reference to the rebel group.
Pawar also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, referring to the latter's allegations against his party. "Modi called the NCP a corrupt party. But after those comments, he inducted some (NCP) people at whom he had pointed fingers (in the state government). It shows how principled Modi is," said the NCP president. Speaking at a BJP programme in Bhopal a few weeks before Ajit Pawar's rebellion, Modi had accused the NCP of being involved in corruption of Rs 70,000 crore, listing out alleged scams in the Maharashtra Cooperative Bank as well as in the state's irrigation and mining sectors. "There is unrest among the people about what has happened in the state. People do not approve of forming such governments by breaking other parties," he said. A little over a year before the division in the NCP, the then Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena split after Shinde and 39 MLAs broke away from the party. Shinde's revolt also caused the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. He then tied up with the BJP to become the CM.
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