Mumbai:- Breakaway Nationalist Congress Party leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar sought his uncle and NCP founder-President Sharad Pawar’s “blessings’” for his rebellious move even as around 30 MLAs attended his first meeting here this afternoon.
The meet at MET Auditorium in Bandra was addressed with strong speeches by the rival NCP stalwarts like Praful Patel, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dhananjay Munde, Rupali Chakankar and others, even as the party’s Whip Anil Patil claimed the support of at least 40 MLAs.
In a simultaneous show of strength, Sharad Pawar held his meeting at the Y.B. Chavan Auditorium where around a dozen MLAs attended besides a large number of party leaders from across the state.
The claims-counterclaims notwithstanding, senior leaders put the figures at 35 on Ajit Pawar side and 18 in Sharad Pawar’s camp, though the real picture has yet to emerge.
The NCP has 53 MLAs and Ajit Pawar would require the support of two-thirds – at least 36 legislators – without attracting the provisions of the anti-defection laws.