Pune: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who heads the rebel faction of the Nationalist Congress Party, on Saturday said the Election Commission of India (ECI) will give the right decision about the NCP.
Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs of NCP joined the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state in July this year, leading to a split in the party that was founded by Sharad Pawar in 1999. Ajit Pawar later moved the ECI to stake claim to the party and its symbol.
The Sharad Pawar-led faction recently submitted its response to the poll panel over a petition filed by the Ajit Pawar group, in which it claimed that there was no dispute in the party, except that a few mischievous individuals have defected from the organisation for their personal ambitions.
When asked about the rival faction’s response, Ajit Pawar told reporters, “I will speak about our stand in the rally to be held tomorrow (in Kolhapur). While both factions of the NCP have issued notices against each other, I think the Election Commission will give the right decision.”
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On the demand for Maratha reservation, he said, “We are working on the issue. A decision on providing quota to the community will be taken by the court. We are trying to convince activist Manoj Jarange (to end his hunger strike), but we are failing to do so.”
The Maratha quota issue returned to centre stage when the police last week baton-charged a violent mob at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district after protesters allegedly refused to let authorities shift Jarange to a hospital.
His hunger strike entered the 12th day on Saturday.
When asked about the rain situation in the state, Pawar said, “There are several places in the state, where no satisfactory rainfall has been recorded so far. As a result, dams in the state are yet to be filled. Kharif crops have suffered damages at many places. We are trying to issue crop insurance to farmers at the earliest.”