'Not true': Ajit Pawar on his uncle's claims of NCP split if Bhujbal made CM in 2004

Mumbai, May 27 (IANS): NCP Chief and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday rebutted his estranged uncle and NCP SP President Sharad Pawar’s claim that had Chhagan Bhujbal been made the Chief Minister in 2004 the NCP would have split.

Ajit Pawar, at the party’s meeting to review the Lok Sabha election management and discuss the roadmap for the upcoming state assembly elections slated for October, said that had Bhujbal been made the Chief Minister in 2004, the NCP would have retained the Chief Minister’s post for as many years as the Congress-NCP alliance government remained in power in Maharashtra.

“If the NCP had taken the post of Chief Minister in 2004, the party would have been in a position to keep the Chief Minister’s post as long as the Congress and NCP alliance remained in power. Chhagan Bhujbal, R. R. Patil and other leaders could also have become Chief Minister,” he said.

Ajit Pawar said that he was part of the discussion with Sharad Pawar when NCP won 71 seats and Congress won 69 seats in the 2004 assembly elections.

“All the senior leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal, Praful Patel, and Sunil Tatkare were of the opinion that NCP should get the CM’s post. I also thought that Chhagan Bhujbal should become the Chief Minister because he had worked hard to take the party to every nook and corner of Maharashtra,” Ajit Pawar said.

He said that many in the party thought that Chhagan Bhujbal should become the Chief Minister.

“After making Sudhakarrao Naik the Chief Minister, he stopped listening to Sharad Pawar within only one year. He also removed 17 people from the cabinet. All this mess started from there, Ajit Pawar said.

Food and Civil Supply Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that there should be no delay in the seat-sharing agreement with the BJP and Shiv Sena for the upcoming state assembly elections.

“Like the Lok Sabha, there should not be a fight in the grand alliance on the seat allocation for the Assembly elections. There should also be no delay in the seat-sharing arrangement. NCP must get its due share of seats,” Chhagan Bhujbal said.

He said that the BJP promised to allocate 80 to 90 seats to NCP in the Assembly elections when the party joined the BJP-Shiv Sena government in July 2023.

Ajit Pawar added that the BJP has promised that everyone will be respected in the Assembly elections.

NCP Working President Praful Patel said that the seat-sharing agreement during the Assembly elections will not be the same as it was in the Lok Sabha elections.

“There will definitely be an increase in the number of seats for NCP in the Assembly elections. All of us will be involved in the seat allocation discussions,” Praful Patel said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis in his reaction to Bhujbal’s statement said that the leaders of all three parties will sit and determine the appropriate seat-sharing formula for the state assembly elections.

“All the three parties will get seats. BJP being the largest party will get more seats,” Deputy Chief Minister Fadnavis said.

In a related development, NCP SP leader Dheeraj Sharma, who was heading the party’s youth wing, joined the Ajit Pawar faction on Monday.



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Title: 'Not true': Ajit Pawar on his uncle's claims of NCP split if Bhujbal made CM in 2004

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