Nationalist Congress Party MLC Eknath Khadse has claimed that he was contacted by a loyalist of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar asking him to join his faction but he declined the offer.
“I had received a call from NCP MLC Amol Mitkari on behalf of Ajit Pawar asking me to side with his faction. I told him flatly that I was loyal to Sharad Pawar. I will not leave him,” Khadse told reporters.
Khadse, a former minister, had left the Bharatiya Janata Party on a sour note ending the nearly 40-year-old association in 2020. After joining NCP, he was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Council.
Commenting over the issue, Khadse's political rival from Jalgaon district and senior BJP leader Girish Mahajan said, “I came to know that Khadse was trying to join the Ajit Pawar side but my advice to him is not to leave Sharad Pawar. He should stick with the senior Pawar”.
Ajit Pawar and eight other MLAs joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government in July this year, triggering a turf war between his uncle and NCP founder Sharad Pawar. Both factions have been maintaining that the party has not split and that they are the real NCP.
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