15 MLAs With Ajit Pawar On Stage At Rival Camp’s Meeting: 10 Points

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Supporters have put banners outside Sharad Pawar’s residence asking people to come to support the “83-year-old warrior who is fighting alone”.

15 MLAs With Ajit Pawar On Stage At Rival Camp's Meeting: 10 Points

Mumbai: At least 15 MLAs from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) appeared on stage with rebel Ajit Pawar who has led a mutiny against his uncle and party chief Sharad Pawar as both sides laid claim to the majority of its 53 Maharashtra legislators.

Here are 10 facts on this big story:

  1. The breakaway NCP group headed by Ajit Pawar, who joined the BJP-Shiv Sena Maharashtra government last week as Deputy Chief Minister, is holding a meeting in Mumbai’s Bandra in a bid to prove that they have the support of the majority of the party’s MLAs. 
  2. The Sharad Pawar’s NCP faction, meanwhile, has issued a whip to all its legislators asking them to attend a key meeting at 1 pm at Mumbai’s Nariman Point. The whip was issued by Jitendra Awhad, who was named as the party’s chief whip on Sunday.
  3. NCP’s working president, in a video, urged party leaders and workers to turn up at the meet in large numbers and seek guidance from Sharad Pawar on the road ahead.
  4. While Sharad Pawar’s NCP is banking on the 83-year-old’s experience and popularity, the Ajit Pawar camp, sources said, is asking MLAs to make a “practical decision”.
  5. Posters seeking support for Sharad Pawar or Ajit Pawar have sprung up in various parts of Mumbai. The banners outside Sharad Pawar’s residence asked people to come to to support the “83-year-old warrior fighting alone”. The Ajit Pawar camp has also been using the photo of the NCP patriarch, despite Sharad Pawar explicitly asking them not to.
  6. While some legislators have arrived at both venues, those who stay away from today’s meetings could play a key role when the Election Commission takes a call on the NCP name and symbol.
  7. In a shock move last week, Ajit Pawar resigned as the leader of the Opposition and hours later took oath as the Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister. Eight other NCP legislators were also sworn in and the state government is expected to announce a cabinet expansion soon.
  8. The NCP has 53 MLAs in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. According to sources, Ajit Pawar claims that he has the support of 43. But Jayant Patil, a leader in the Sharad Pawar faction, has said that some of the MLAs who signed up for the other side claimed they did not know what they were signing.  
  9. Sharad Pawar’s party has moved a petition before Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar seeking the disqualification of Ajit Pawar and the 8 MLAs who have taken oath as ministers in the Eknath Shinde-led government.
  10. Even if Ajit Pawar manages to get 50 out of 53 MLAs, disqualification proceedings can still be initiated as Supreme Court has held that the original political party should merge under the 10th schedule and the legislative party cannot be independent of a political party. So, the show of strength by Ajit Pawar will not have any impact on the disqualification proceedings.

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