52 MLAs in fold, trying to convince Ajit: NCP leaders

Published on Nov 26, 2019 12:05 AM IST
HT Image
HT Image
By, Mumbai

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday said most of its rebel MLAs have returned, and now the party has the support of 52 of its 54 MLAs. The party, on Monday, got back three missing MLAs — Narhari Zirwal, Daulat Daroda and Anil Patil — who were allegedly kept at a five-star hotel in Gurgaon by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Only two MLAs — Ajit Pawar (Baramati) and Anna Bansode (Pimpri) — are yet to return to the party.

For the third consecutive day on Monday, the NCP continued its efforts to persuade Ajit Pawar to come back to the party fold. Senior NCP leaders such as Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, along with Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, had a four-hour meeting with Ajit at Vidhan Bhavan on Monday afternoon. Following this, Ajit, who was supposed to take charge as the new deputy chief minister in the Mantralaya and attend a meeting with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss relief measures for farmers affected by unseasonal rain, cancelled his plan and went home. The NCP is still hopeful that he will change his mind and return to the party.

However, NCP insiders have refused to give any sort of promise to Ajit for his “ghar wapsi”. “Split in the family sends a wrong signal, which we don’t want to do. Attempts are on to convince him to return. Pawarsaheb is ready to put the past behind,” said a senior NCP leader. Party chief Sharad Pawar said he had no information about the meeting with Ajit. “I have no information what transpired in the meeting. I have not spoken to him [Ajit]…I don’t know why he took the decision,” said Pawar, who was in Karad on Monday morning.

The party top brass has also discussed the possibility of taking disciplinary action against Ajit if he doesn’t agree to return. This could include his suspension from the party for a specific period or expulsion. The disciplinary committee of the party will prepare a report and recommend action, on which the final call would be taken by Pawar.

Patil, who was elected as the new legislative leader of the NCP, following Ajit’s rebellion on Saturday, said 51 NCP MLAs have signed the letter extending support to form a Sena-led coalition government, and it was submitted to the Governor. Before going to meet Ajit on Monday, Patil said, “One legislator [Dharamraobaba Atraam] is unwell and he has sent a letter of support through fax. Only two legislators — Ajit and Bansode — are yet to come back. I met him [Ajit] yesterday and am going to meet him now for the final time.”

Nawab Malik, NCP’s Mumbai unit president, said, of the four MLAs who were unreachable, three —Zirwal, Anil Patil and Daroda — have come back.

Ever since Saturday, the party has been claiming that only five MLAs have been “missing”, while the rest eight MLAs — of the 13 who were allegedly with Ajit during his swearing-in ceremony — have come back to the party fold. On Sunday, Daroda and Babasaheb Patil had released videos saying that they were still with the NCP. There are speculations that some MLAs supporting Ajit may vote against the party during the election for Speaker in the state Assembly as there will be a secret ballot voting. Responding to that, a senior NCP leader said, “Their [BJP] MLAs, too, can vote for us as they can see we have more than enough numbers.”

NCP’s strategy is to get the Speaker elected in order to rule out Ajit’s claim as the legislative party leader, in case he does not return. “Our strategy is to get the Speaker elected in the state Assembly. This will itself prove that the BJP does not have numbers and the government will not last,” said an NCP insider.

NCP, along with the Sena and Congress, has already staked claim to form the government by submitting a letter signed by 162 MLAs to the Governor’s office on Monday, as the latter was not in Mumbai. Later, in the evening, MLAs of the three parties were brought together in a show of strength before the media at hotel Grand Hyatt. This includes 56 Sena MLAs, 52 legislators from NCP, 44 from Congress, eight Independents and two from the Samajwadi Party.

In an attempt to keep its MLAs safe from poaching, the NCP also discreetly shifted around 12 legislators to Hotel Sofitel in Bandra Kurla Complex on Sunday night. The rest — around 34 MLAs — are put up at Grand Hyatt. “Keeping MLAs in different groups becomes easier to man and we can ensure they are not poached. Also, both the hotels have Sena’s labour unions which has made our job easier,” said an NCP leader. The party is said to have shifted those who they still doubt, said another NCP insider.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • According to the police, the 25-year-old was part of a police team and had come to Pune in connection with an investigation related to a cheating case. (Getty Images)

    Woman constable from Bihar found dead at Pune hotel

    A woman police constable attached to Bihar Police who was in Pimpri-Chinchwad for an investigation was found hanging in the 25-year-old victim Kavita Kumari's hotel room in Pune city on Thursday afternoon, local police said. Police sub-inspector Om Prakash Prasad said, “It is suspected to be a case of suicide though no suicide note has been found. The deceased was married and attached to Muzaffarpur police station,” he said.

  • A volunteer fumigates at a cow shelter as a preventive measure against the lumpy virus on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on July 30. (AFP File Photo)

    Lumpy skin disease has killed 14,000 cattle in Rajasthan

    The lumpy skin disease has killed about 14,000 cattle, mostly cows, in Rajasthan in 23 of the 33 districts of the state by Thursday, spreading from 16 to 23 districts in a week, Rajasthan animal husbandry department officials said. The highest 2,752 deaths have been reported from Ganganagar, followed by Barmer (1,657) and Jodhpur (1,691). Rajasthan animal husbandry secretary PC Kishan said the death rate is declining and the infection is getting controlled.

  • Ajay Choudhari, the Shiv Sena MLA from Sewri, who is the group leader of the Thackeray camp, said that on Thursday, he had met speaker Rahul Narwekar with leader of opposition Ajit Pawar and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil (HT Photo)

    Sena vs Sena: Fight over BAC member selection

    Mumbai The Shiv Sena versus Eknath Shinde battle has entered a fresh phase with the Sena taking umbrage to two members of the Shinde faction being accommodated on the significant business advisory committee of the state legislative assembly, while leaving out those MLAs loyal to party president Uddhav Thackeray. It includes the speaker, deputy speaker, chief minister, deputy chief minister and representatives of recognised political parties in the legislature.

  • Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur listening to the grievances during the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha monsoon session in Shimla on Thursday. (Deepak Sansta/Hindustan Times)

    1,785 primary schools in HP have less than 10 students: Edu minister

    There are 1,785 primary schools in Himachal Pradesh where the number of students is less than 10, said education minister Govind Singh Thakur in the written reply to a question asked by Jwalamukhi MLA Ramesh Chand Dhwala. The number of these schools is more in Shimla district, he added. Shimla district has maximum 13 primary teachers, whose postings are in some other school, but they are providing services elsewhere.

  • Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur along with Vidhan Sabha Speaker Vipin Parmar and other MLAs arrives to attend the monsoon session of HImachal assembly in Shimla on Thursday. (Deepak Sansta/Hindustan Times)

    No-trust motion against Jai Ram govt defeated by voice vote

    The no-confidence motion moved by the opposition Congress and the lone Communist Party of India (M) member against chief minister Jai Ram Thakur's government in Himachal Pradesh, where assembly elections are just a few months away, was defeated by a voice vote in the state legislative assembly on Thursday even as the opposition members staged a walkout from the House. The opposition members staged a walkout ahead of chief minister's reply.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now