NCP crisis: Ajit Pawar unfurls party flag ahead of meeting; “We have everyone with us,” says Praful Patel

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Leader of Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction, Praful Patel, on Wednesday, claimed the support of the “bulk” of the party’s legislators stating there was “no need to worry.”

Arriving to attend a party meeting called by Maharashtra Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar in Bandra, Patel told reporters, “We have everyone with us. There is no need to worry”

Ahead of the meeting Ajit Pawar along with other party leaders unfurled the NCP flag at the Mumbai Education Trust Bandra. NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal also said that they have the numbers. “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 they have come. The exact number of leaders can only be seen on the stage,” Bhujbal said.

The crisis in NCP is escalating with two factions calling separate meetings today in an apparent show of strength. Supporters of NCP chief Sharad Pawar were seen gathered outside the YB Chavan Centre in the city ahead of a meeting called by Sharad Pawar. NCP working president and MP, Supriya Sule also reached the venue.

NCP suffered a split on Sunday with Ajit Pawar joining the Eknath Shinde-BJP government along with eight other MLAs. 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”. 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.

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