Maharashtra News: Will BJP snap ties with Ajit Pawar? Here’s what THIS report says

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Speculations are rife that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may snap ties with Ajit Pawar-led NCP and, instead, fight the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections with Chief Minister Ekanth Shinde-led Shiv Sena as its ally, according to a report in the New Indian Express. This after a write-up in an RSS mouthpiece said that the alliance with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar-led NCP was one of the reasons for the BJP’s Lok Sabha poll setback in Maharashtra.

The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) won 30 of the Maharasthra’s 48 seats in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha Elections 2024. The ruling Mahayuti, a part of the NDA, bagged just 17 seats. 

In 2019, the NDA had won 43 of the 48 seats from Maharashtra while the then UPA Had bagged the remaining five seats. 

Also Read: BJP extols Uddhav Thackeray amid rift reports with Shinde’s Shiv Sena, Ajit Pawar’s NCP: ‘Health was not good, still…’

Though voters chose differently in the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections, the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections will have a bearing on the upcoming state assembly elections in these two states. 

“RSS-BJP cadres are groomed on anti-Pawar plank. They are anti-Ajit Pawar because of his link to irrigation and Maharashtra state cooperative bank scams. But the anti-Pawar narrative took a back seat after junior Pawar joined hands with BJP. Rubbing salt to the wound, he was made a deputy chief minister in the Mahayuti government,” the New Indian Express report quoted an anonymous senior BJP leader as saying. 

Hours before the Modi 3.0 swearing-in on Sunday, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) turned down the BJP’s offer to accommodate party leader Praful Patel as a minister of state (MoS)with independent charge in the new government.  Patel, a member of the Ajit Pawar faction of NCP said accepting an MoS position would be a kind of demotion for him since he has been a cabinet minister before. 

“In the Lok Sabha elections, it was visible that RSS-BJP cadres were not ready to campaign for NCP candidates and remained complacent in many places. As a result, BJP’s tally came down from 23 in 2019 to nine in 2024,” the leader said. 

Also Read: Lok Sabha elections 2024 result ‘reality check’ for BJP enjoying PM Modi’s aura: RSS magazine

The Ajit Pawar faction of NCP could only win one seat- Raigar, of the five it contested, in the general elections.

In the article in Organiser, the RSS mouthpiece, Ratan Sharda, a lifelong RSS worker, wrote that allying with Ajit Pawar reduced the “brand value of BJP” and made it “just another party without any difference.”

Sources said the BJP leadership is deliberating on the impact of no truck with Ajit in assembly elections scheduled later this year, the New Indian Express report said. 

If true, the move can be a set back for Ajit Pawar who is staring at an uncertain political future after the Lok Sabha drubbing. This despite being part of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra and after securing the original party name and the symbol of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) from his uncle Sharad Pawar. 

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Published: 13 Jun 2024, 11:18 AM IST


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