Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed on Monday (13 February) that Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar was in the know about his nephew Ajit Pawar’s short-lived defection to the Bhartiya Janata Party in November 2019.
Speaking at the TV9 Marathi channel’s Maharashtra Cha Mahasankalp event, Fadnavis spoke about the chaos in the post-2019 election period.
He claimed that it was only after Sharad Pawar’s go-ahead that Ajit Pawar and himself had proceeded with the swearing-in.
Post 2019 Maharashtra elections, while Shiv Sena, Indian National Congress, and Nationalist Congress Party had attempted to rustle together a coalition government, Ajit Pawar surprised everyone by defecting to the BJP.
The crisis was created only after BJP's long-time ally Shiv Sena left the pre-election coalition and sided with the NCP and the Congress. However, Ajit Pawar failed to get enough number of NCP MLAs with him and the Fadnavis government fell soon.
Pawar soon returned to NCP and was forgiven by his uncle and party chief Sharad Pawar, who hit back at Fadnavis alleging he is “resorting to lies”. NCP Chief at the time had declared that Ajit joining hands with the BJP was “personal”.
Fadnavis went on to add “In all fairness, I want to state that Ajit Pawar took oath with me honestly … but later on their (NCP’s) strategy changed.” He also alleged that Ajit Pawar’s betrayal was small compared to what Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena had done.
The remarks have already created a storm on Twitter with BJP and NCP handles engaging in a war of words online.
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