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Maharashtra: ‘18-19 NCP MLAs want to return to Sharad party’

PUNE: Some MLAs of Ajit Pawar-led NCP are trying to re-establish a connection with Sharad Pawar’s party ahead of the assembly poll in the state after NCP (SCP) candidates Nilesh Lanke and Bajrang Sonawane won the Ahmednagar and Beed Lok Sabha seats.
Lanke and Sonawane had switched from Ajit Pawar to Sharad Pawar’s camp while tickets were being distributed for the Lok Sabha polls.
Karjat-Jamkhed MLA Rohit Pawar, grandnephew of Sharad Pawar, on Wednesday, further said, “Nearly 18 to 19 MLAs (of Ajit Pawar camp) are interested in returning to the party. But for those who stayed with Sharad Pawar in difficult times are important to him and would remain the party’s priority.”
NCP (SCP) state president Jayant Patil, however, said on Wednesday that the decision to take back such MLAs rests with Sharad Pawar.

“The LS results were out on Tuesday and some are already reflecting upon their decisions. However, we have not given it (return of MLAs) a thought yet. The party will decide after consulting Sharad Pawar,” Patil said. Ajit’s NCP won only one seat. Sources said discontent among MLAs was palpable when the party got only four seats of the 48 constituencies in Maharashtra. “Leaders backed Ajit Pawar with the hope that the party will grow once it joins Mahayuti govt...,” a senior NCP leader said.