Nearly eight months after the split in the Shiv Sena, which eventually led to the collapse of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Friday claimed that then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray was ‘warned’ about a rebellion brewing in the ranks but he failed to act on it.
Pawar was the deputy chief minister in the previous MVA regime.
“Two-three times, we had informed Uddhav Thackeray about a growing rebellion in his party and a few meetings had also taken place on this matter. (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar had also spoken to him about it, but he said he had full confidence in his MLAs and that they wouldn’t take such an extreme step,” Ajit Pawar said while being interviewed at a media conclave in Pune on Friday.
Pawar’s NCP is part of the MVA, which also features the Shiv Sena (Uddhab Balasaheb Thackeray) and the Congress.
“After the first batch of 15-16 MLAs left the party (Uddhav faction of the Shiv Sena), the party needed to stem the tide and keep its flock together. But no such efforts were made. In fact, the general sense as was evident in the media reports at the time was that whoever wanted to leave the party was free to do so,” the former deputy CM added.
He further claimed that the then chief minister preferred to repose his trust in his MLAs with his ‘eyes closed’.
“The Shiv Sena leaders had trusted their fellow party members with their eyes closed and were betrayed. I fail to understand why their leaders let this happen,” Pawar said.
On when exactly did he get an inkling that a rebellion was about to break in the Sena ranks, the NCP leader said he suspected something was afoot as much as six months before the split happened.
“In June (of 2022), some hustle and bustle had started. Then also I had informed Uddhav-ji about Eknath Shinde but he told me that he was aware of it and will speak with Shinde. He assured me that the matter would be resolved,” he added.
Shinde, who emerged as the leader of the rebel Sena faction, eventually unseated the MVA from power and formed the government with the support of the BJP. The revolt saw 39 Sena MLAs and 10 Independent MLAs joining the rival camp, thereby reducing the MVA to a minority in the Assembly.
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.