Mumbai: The crisis in NCP is escalating with the two factions calling separate meetings on Wednesday in an apparent show of strength.
Supporters of NCP chief Sharad Pawar have gathered outside YB Chavan Centre ahead of the meeting called by the party chief. NCP working president and MP, Supriya Sule also reached YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai.
Maharashtra Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who belongs to the faction led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, said the exact number of leaders can only be seen on the stage.
“We will see the number of leaders sitting in on the stage and at other places. Supporters are signing papers and they are asked from where have they come. The exact number of leaders can only be seen on the stage,” he said.
NCP suffered a split on Sunday with Ajit Pawar joining the Eknath Shinde-BJP government along with eight other MLAs.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by Sharad Pawar has moved a disqualification petition against the nine MLAs to Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.
Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal along with Dilip Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Dhananjay Mundo, Dharmaraobaba Atram, Aditi Tatkare, Sanjay Bansode and Anil Patil joined Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis Maharashtra government on Sunday.
Sharad Pawar has removed his close aide Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare from the party for “anti-party activities”.
“Your actions of supporting Ajit Pawar and the eight other MLAs, who have sworn oath as Ministers in violation of the party’s direction and mandate, ex-facie amount to anti-party activities and that you deemed to have voluntarily left the membership of Nationalist Congress Party,” Pawar said in a communication which was also sent to the two party MPs.
“I formally remove your names from the Membership Register of the Party in view of your actions of voluntarily giving up membership of the Nationalist Congress Party,” it said.
The communication said the action of MPs, “in a surreptitious manner, without the knowledge or consent of the party president, amounts to the desertion of the party, which in turn invites disqualification from primary membership”.
Praful Patel, a Rajya Sabha MP, has been a close associate of Pawar and was appointed working president of NCP last month. He was a minister in the Congress-led UPA government along with Pawar.Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule had written to him for action against the two MPs.