Ajit sulks as BJP willing to offer only 4-5 seats to NCP | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Ajit sulks as BJP willing to offer only 4-5 seats to NCP

Mar 18, 2024 09:33 AM IST

Pawar isn't willing to let go of Satara constituency, which undivided NCP won in 2019; neither is he willing to travel to Delhi again to sort out differences

Mumbai: Deputy chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Ajit Pawar is sulking as the Bhartiya Janata party (BJP) is willing to allocate only four to five Lok Sabha seats to his party against the demand for 12 seats, well-placed sources in the NCP said. Pawar is not willing to let go of the Satara constituency, which the undivided NCP had won in 2019; neither is he willing to travel to Delhi again to sort out differences in seat-sharing among Mahayuti allies. The deputy chief minister is scheduled to meet senior BJP leader virtually on Sunday evening to iron out differences, the sources added.

NCP chief and Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar (File Photo)
NCP chief and Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar (File Photo)

While the NCP won four seats in the 2019 general elections, the Ajit Pawar-led faction has just one sitting parliamentarian – Sunil Tatkare from Raiagd. The party demanded 12 seats in talks with allies, but the BJP is willing to offer it only four seats – Baramati, Raigad, Shirur and Parbhani.

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Pawar is upset with BJP’s offer and believes that the BJP is trying to undermine his party’s strength, said insiders. “Ajit dada has refused to go to Delhi to meet the BJP leadership again to resolve the matter. He is of the view that he has clarified all that we want and it is up to the BJP to take a call,” said a senior leader.

Pawar has made it clear that he is not ready to leave the Satara seat to the BJP; he is also keen that NCP contests from any two seats between Osmanabad, Nashik and Gadchiroli-Chimur, said sources.

On March 8, Pawar held a meeting with chief minister Eknath Shinde, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to tackle the picky issue of seat sharing. The Delhi meeting was preceded by two meetings with Shah in Mumbai, which failed to bring consensus among top leaders of the three ruling parties.

NCP insiders said Pawar was not ready to go to Delhi for the March 8 meeting in the first place. “The party’s national working president Praful Patel convinced him to go saying he should try to convince Shah on the issue,” said a party leader, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, former MP from the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil is likely to join the NCP and contest as the party’s candidate from Shirur. “Patil is keen on contesting but the seat is likely to come to the NCP as part of the seat-sharing pact. He will join us only when the Shirur seat is formally allocated to the NCP,” said a party functionary.

Patil, a three-term MP from Shirur, shifted his loyalty to the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena after the split in the party. He was defeated by the NCP’s Amol Kolhe in the 2019 elections. The NCP might be forced to import him from the Shiv Sena this time as its senior leader and cooperation minister Dilip Walse Patil has refused to contest the Lok Sabha election.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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