'Turncoats will be taken back into NCP only on merit'

'Turncoats will be taken back into NCP only on merit'

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and state NCP chief Jayant Patil (PTI Photo)

The NCP's Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil said on Sunday that those who had left the party before the assembly elections will be readmitted only on the basis of "merit".

Speaking to reporters before a meeting of the NCP's core committee at party chief Sharad Pawar's residence here, Patil said many of the MLAs who had joined the BJP before the elections were in touch with the party.

Asked if there will be a `mega-bharti' (wholesale induction of leaders) into the NCP, he said, "There won't be any mega-bharti. Leaders will be admitted into the party fold on the basis of merit.

"While admitting people into the party, we will have to consider the loyalty shown by younger leaders from each constituency who stayed with us," he added.

The issues related to formation of government in Maharashtra in alliance with the Shiv Sena and Congress were likely to be discussed in the core committee meeting, Patil said.

Chhagan Bhujbal, Ajit Pawar, Jitendra Avhad, Nawab Malik, Dhananjay Munde, Supriya Sule and Sunil Tatkare are among leaders who are attending the meeting.

Patil denied that there were any differences within the NCP on whether the party should support the Sena or the BJP.

"The final decision will be taken by Sharad Pawar, but there is no question of going with a party (BJP) against whom NCP fought the elections, a party which is ideologically different," he said.