Ajit Pawar. File Pic
The Maharashtra Assembly Speaker has allotted the Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) office at the Vidhan Bhavan (legislature complex) in Nagpur district of Maharashtra to the faction led by the state deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, sources claimed on Wednesday, reported the PTI.
Earlier in the day, leaders of the Sharad Pawar-led NCP faction had said their group was entitled to use the office.
Sources in the Ajit Pawar camp said that party leader and state minister Anil Patil had written to Speaker Rahul Narwekar, seeking allotment of the NCP office ahead of the winter session of the legislature which will start in Nagpur from Thursday, according to the PTI.
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The Speaker, accordingly, allotted the office to the Ajit Pawar faction, they claimed.
Speaking to reporters earlier, senior leader Jayant Patil who belongs to the Sharad Pawar-led NCP said their party was the original NCP and it need not make any demand for allotment of its office, as per the PTI.
Anil Deshmukh, former state home minister and another leader of the Sharad Pawar camp, said in the morning that the office belonged to their faction.
Those who left the NCP should request the Speaker to provide them a separate office, he said.
The NCP split on July 2 after Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs of the party joined the government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Since then, both factions of the NCP have laid claim to the party name and symbol, and have petitioned the speaker seeking disqualification of those owing allegiance to the other side.
Replying to a question on who will have the NCP office in Vidhan Bhavan as Ajit Pawar-led faction leader Dharmarao Baba Atram claimed that the office belonged to his side, Deshmukh said, "The party office will be ours as some people left our party and moved out. The party office will remain with us and those who stepped out of our party should request the speaker to arrange something for them."
(with PTI inputs)