Mumbai: NCP Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar, along with eight party leaders, joined the Maharashtra government today in a big upheaval. Mr Pawar will share the Deputy Chief Minister post with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis.
Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil, Aditi Tatkare, Dhananjay Munde, Hasan Mushrif, Dharmaraj Babarao Atram, Sanjay Bansode and Anil Bhaidas Patil took oath today, the fourth swearing-in ceremony Maharashtra has seen in as many years.
Welcoming Ajit Pawar into the fold, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said, “Now we have 1 Chief Minister and 2 Deputy Chief Ministers. The double-engine government has now become triple engine. For the development of Maharashtra, I welcome Ajit Pawar and his leaders. Ajit Pawar’s experience will help.”
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar told media that he was unaware of the meeting in Mumbai.
“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,” Mr Pawar said.
The move in the NCP comes a month after Sharad Pawar had resigned as party chief and then decided to take it back three days later as he “couldn’t disrespect the feelings of the masses”.
Ajit Pawar, who made a failed bid to align with the BJP in 2019 and was sworn-in as deputy chief minister in an today morning ceremony, had been vying the post of state president to resurrect his dwindling stature in the party.
While he has no party post, Ms Sule and party leader Praful Patel were elevated to working presidents on June 10.