NCP rebel Ajit Pawar explains reasons behind switching sides

Thursday, 6 July 2023 (10:58 IST)
Pune: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP rebel Ajit Pawar explained the reasons behind his decision to switch sides and support Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-BJP government in the state.
Ajit Pawar has issued a press note here to clear any confusions that are sought to be insinuated and reassure the elected representatives of the NCP as also the members of the organisational structure presently working on various posts.
According to him, there was a grave feeling of discontent amongst various members of the NCP, both from the elected, legislative wings and the organisational wing that the affairs of the party are being dictated in alleged violation of the provisions of NCP Constitution & Rules and decisions were taken unilaterally without taking others into confidence.
He claimed that at present, the entire structure of NCP, including the post of president, is heavily flawed inasmuch as none of the appointments has been made in terms of the provisions of the NCP Constitution, also, no election process for any post including that of the party president has been followed, he charged.
He further claimed that even the office-bearers appointed on various committees of NCP are not holding the office legally and said that the earlier appointment of Jayant Patil as the state president of Maharashtra NCP was patently illegal since the same was done without following any procedures mandated by the party's constitution.
He further said that Jayant Patil was earlier appointed as the interim state president of Maharashtra NCP by Praful Patel, who, in his capacity as the Working president of NCP, has removed him from the post and appointed Sunil Tatkare in his place.
Furthermore, the appointment of Sharad Pawar as national president as well as of other party office-bearers in a national convention dated 10-1t September 2022 in itself is void and ab initio due to lack of any record of the persons who attended this convention and voted in favour of Sharad Pawar, he said.
Since the power to decide the issue as to who represents the real Nationalist Congress Party lies with the Election Commission of India, it is only after ECI's final decision that identity of the real leader of NCP will be established and only thereafter that any decision about appointment or removal of office-bearers can be taken, Pawar Junior said.
Therefore, in absence of any decision by the ECI, the expulsion of Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare from the party are without any authority of law and thus illegal, he pointed.
Referring to issue of disqualification petitions submitted by rival factions with the State Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar, he said that unless a final decision is taken by the Speaker, it is palpably wrong for anyone within the party to suggest or insinuate that either Ajit Pawar or any of the ministers are or would be disqualified.
Ajit Pawar suggested to the Speaker to conduct an independent enquiry based on the rules and regulations of the political party to identify the leader of the legislative party or the chief whip.
Unless and until such a decision is made, no person from the party can take any action on assumption that he is legally appointed whip of the NCP, he said.
Since he (Ajit Pawar) continues to command support of an overwhelming majority of the members of NCP, no orders or directions passed by anyone in the party has any effect on any of the party members until the matter is decided by ECI, the release added. (UNI)

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