Pawar uncle-nephew tug of war aggravate

Sharad Pawar. (PTI Photo)

The tug-of-war between Pawar uncle-nephew duo aggravated further on Sunday putting Maharashtra into one of the worst political crisis that it has seen in the last three decades.

At the end of the day,  both, NCP founder-president Sharad Pawar and his rebel nephew Ajit Pawar,  claimed that their respective factions are the real one.

Ajit gave indications of his point of no return and switching over to the BJP,  when in a series of tweets,  he thanked prime minister Narendra Modi, home minister, and BJP president Amit Shah, BJP working president JP Nadda,  union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, defense minister Rajnath Singh,  finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman,  railway minister Piyush Goyal among others.

"We will ensure a stable government that will work hard for the welfare of the people of Maharashtra," Pawar Jr said thanking Modi.

The development comes a day after  BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit were sworn in as chief minister and deputy chief minister, respectively.

In another tweet,  he said: "I am in the NCP and shall always be in the NCP and Sharad Pawar saheb is our leader. Our BJP-NCP alliance shall provide a stable Government in Maharashtra for the next five years which will work sincerely for the welfare of the State and its people," he said.

"There is absolutely no need to worry, all is well. However, a little patience is required. Thank you very much for all your support," the 60-year-old Ajit,  a seven-time MLA from Baramati said. 

The series of tweets by Pawar Jr created ripples and confusion in the NCP camp.

The Pawar nephew preferred to be indoors and choose not to speak to media despite repeated attempts and put out his version through the micro-blogging platform Twitter.

Pawar Jr's reaction came after the BJP,  in its legislature party meeting,  congratulated him and Fadnavis and assured a stable government for a full five-year term.

Earlier in the day,  senior leader and former speaker Dilip Walse-Patil and state NCP president Jayant Patil,  who had replaced him as legislature party leader,  met him and convinced him to come back. 

Patil also visited Raj Bhavan and submitted a list containing signatures of 41 MLA who had attended Saturday's meeting. 

Asked about just 41 signatures when there are 54 MLAs, NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said: "Some were in their constituencies or outside Mumbai,  they have come now,  as of now 51 MLAs are with us including the majority of them who attended the swearing-in ceremony," he said.

Patil said: "You are one of the founding members of NCP. We all have grown under the guidance of Pawar Saheb. But in the interest of the state,  Pawar saheb has taken the decision not to go with BJP. I request you to come back."

Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said that Ajit is not in a position to thank anyone. "He has to prove majority," he said.

NCP spokesperson and close Pawar Sr aide Clyde Castro tweeted: "Dear Ajit dada,

Nice to see you reply to our PM's good wishes but just want to remind you that you are being wished because you left the hands of the Man who held your hand & taught you how to walk in your personal & political life. Wishing you the best for the future."

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