From Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai to the Satara zilla parishad, supporters of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar staged a show of strength and vented their ire at chief minister Prithviraj Chavan by burning his effigies.
Pawar supporters turned out in large numbers outside the Vidhan Bhavan where NCP legislators were holding a meeting and shouted slogans in support of their leader.
In Pawar’s hometown Baramati, people observed a day’s bandh. The bandh, called for two hours in the morning, but was extended later. A group of NCP workers also staged rasta roko near Lonavala on the old Mumbai-Pune highway.
In an unusual move, the NCP-dominated Satara Zilla Parishad passed a resolution demanding Chavan’s resignation. Significantly, Satara is the home district of chief minister who hails from the Karad tehsil. The zilla parishad members came outside the House and also raised slogans against Chavan.
Twelve independent MLAs, most of them from western Maharashtra, declared they would reconsider their decision to support the Democratic Front government if Ajit Pawar was not holding the post of deputy chief minister.
The group of 12 MLAs, led by Solapur MLA Dilip Sopal called on NCP state unit chief Madhukar Pichad on Wednesday afternoon to convey their sentiments.
Sopal told HT they called on Pichad immediately after the NCP meeting and categorically stated that the group was not interested in continuing support to the DF government if Pawar’s resignation was accepted by the party.
“Ajit Pawar has been supporting us in all development works in our constituencies and we cannot think of any other person as the deputy chief minister,” Sopal said.