Loyalists to meet NCP chief before resigning in Deputy CM support
A day after several Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs, MLCs and other independent MLAs from the district who were supporting Congress-NCP government announced that even they will tender their resignations, in Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's support, now seem to be reconsidering their decision.
These politicians said the decision would be taken tomorrow after they meet Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Political expert Prakash Pawar said the MLAs and the MLCs very well know that this time the Congress will not buckle under any kind of pressure and will accept Pawar’s resignation. Therefore these politicians have gone defensive.
Ajit Pawar tendered his resignation on Tuesday after his name cropped up in the Rs 20,000 irrigation scam. He was accused of awarding and clearing several projects by overlooking the official protocol during his tenure as the irrigation minister from 1999 to 2009.
Vilas Lande, an independent MLA from Bhosari and an ardent supporter of Ajit Pawar, confirmed that decision to tender resignations will be taken after their meeting with the NCP chief. In the past, Lande had said the only reason he supported the government was because Ajit Pawar was the deputy chief minister.
On asked what if Pawar remains firm on his decision, Lande said then his decision to tender resignation will be taken after he consults other MLAs.
NCP MLA from Pimpri Anna Bansode said all the MLAs and the MLCs were trying to convince Pawar to take back his resignation.
He said resignation by MLAs would disrupt politics at local level rather than state level and this might affect NCP strongholds in the state. Just like Lande, even Bansode avoided giving a proper answer when asked about his resignation.
Vadgaon Sheri NCP MLA Bapu Pathare and MLC Anil Bhosale seemed to be on the same page as Bansode and Lande when asked about their resignations. Political scholar Nitin Birmal said the entire episode is nothing but Ajit Pawar’s way of testing his power and loyalists in the party.
“Keeping in mind the factions within the party, Ajit Pawar seems to be eyeing the party president’s post. This could probably be one of prime reasons behind his resignation, so that he can pinpoint his supporters in the party,” Birmal said.