In the midst of ongoing political turmoil in Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar is set to inaugurate a new office for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Mumbai. This development comes in the wake of a day filled with political chaos after Pawar was sworn in as Deputy CM in the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government, claiming the support of 40 NCP MLAs.
The support Pawar claimed was short-lived as two MLAs, Makrand Patil of Satara and Balasaheb Patil of North Karad, have since returned to Sharad Pawar’s camp. Additionally, Shirur MP Amol Kolhe, who was present at Raj Bhavan, declared his intentions to return to Sharad Pawar’s faction. These shifts have sparked legal actions and calls for disqualification from both factions of the party, demonstrating the escalating tensions within the NCP.
While NCP is experiencing internal strife, the Congress Party is proactively assessing its next move. Congress legislature party leader, Balasaheb Thorat, has scheduled a meeting with Congress legislators to evaluate the current political landscape following Ajit Pawar’s rebellion. The All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary, H K Patil, will address the legislators at this pivotal gathering.
One topic on the agenda is the possibility of Congress staking a claim to the post of Leader of Opposition. Following Ajit Pawar’s resignation from the post and his alliance with the Shinde-Fadnavis government, the role is up for grabs. While the NCP members who remain with Sharad Pawar amount to around 15 in the lower house, the Congress commands a more significant presence with 44 members.
The inauguration of the new NCP office in Mumbai, therefore, represents more than a mere physical expansion of the party’s infrastructure. It stands as a symbol of the party’s resilience in the face of internal divisions and an ever-evolving political landscape. As Maharashtra grapples with political instability, the actions of party leaders in the coming days will play a critical role in determining the future trajectory of the state’s politics.