Maharashtra: BJP's State Core Group Commits To Ajit Pawar's NCP Till Assembly Elections

July 01,2024

The BJP's state core group has decided to not dump Ajit Pawar's NCP for now and go along with it as an alliance partner at least till the state assembly elections are over.

There was a lot of speculation going on in political circles about what the BJP would do with regard to Ajit Pawar's NCP after their poor show in the Lok Sabha polls and many BJP office-bearers, especially from Western Maharashtra, openly expressing the view at party meetings that they needed to part ways with the NCP.

BJP Office-Bearers On Alliance With Ajit Pawar's NCP

BJP office-bearers felt that the alliance with Ajit Pawar's NCP had caused damage instead of achieving gain for the BJP in districts like Pune, Satara, Parbhani, and Nashik. However, a top BJP leader told the FPJ that the BJP core team which met in Mumbai on Saturday, finally decided to continue to keep the NCP (AP) in the Mahayuti despite the views expressed by party office bearers in Pune or Beed districts.

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Insiders said that the key to this was that in the talks between BJP's top state leadership and Pawar in the past few days, the NCP leader agreed to accept very few seats in the seat-sharing formula for the assembly polls.

Sources said that Ajit Pawar had shown acceptance to even come as low as 65-70 seats out of the 288 seats. The BJP insists that they want to contest around 110 seats in the assembly while CM Eknath Shinde may demand anything up to 90 seats leaving only about 88 seats for the NCP and other alliance partners such as Raj Thackeray's MNS.

The epicentre of resentment against Pawar has been Pune city and district. Just a couple of days ago BJP's Pune district vice president Sudarshan Chowdhary raised his voice against Pawar's party openly in the party office bearer's meeting.

“We have not gained anything by taking Ajit Pawar along, in fact, the voters are asking us why we took NCP along and it is becoming difficult for us to face the people in our constituency. The NCP has not put in the best effort. My demand is that we should part ways with the NCP,” Chowdhary said speaking with the media.

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BJP sources confirmed that Chowdhary was not alone in the meeting led by Shirur MLA and BJP leader Rahul Kul.

“There were about 28 party office-bearers in the meeting and almost 20-22 of them said that BJP should end the alliance with Ajit Pawar,” said one of the office-bearers who was present at the meeting.

Statement Of BJP Leader Suresh Dhas

BJP leader and member of the Legislative Council Suresh Dhas spoke on Friday with a select group of media and claimed that the BJP had lost some seats because of the alliance with Ajit Pawar.

“We should have thought of what we are getting into. This alliance has damaged us more than given us any gains. For the assembly polls we must think of some better options,” Dhas said.

Incidentally, Dhas originally belonged to the NCP and was a member of the state assembly from Beed as an NCP member.