The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) today claimed NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who has been sworn in as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, would replace Chief Minister Eknath Shinde soon.
Ajit Pawar on Sunday led a vertical split in the NCP to become the deputy chief minister, shocking his uncle Sharad Pawar, who founded the party 24 years ago. Eight NCP leaders were also sworn in as ministers in the Shinde-BJP government.
An editorial in the Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah has not only “muddied” politics of Maharashtra but also of the country.
“Ajit Pawar has a made a record of taking oath as deputy chief minister. This time the ‘deal’ is strong,” it said.
“Pawar has not gone there for the deputy CM’s post. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and rebel MLAs of the Sena would be disqualified soon and Pawar would be coronated,” it claimed.
This new development will not go down well with the people of the state. The state had no such political tradition and it will never be supported by the people, it said.
Ajit Pawar’s somersault is actually dangerous for Chief Minister Shinde, the Marathi daily claimed.
It said when Mr Shinde and other MLAs left the Shiv Sena, they blamed the party president and (then) chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for not controlling then finance minister Ajit Pawar who had taken immense control over fund disbursement and sanctioning work orders. “The primary reason according to the rebel MLAs was ‘we left the Shiv Sena because of the NCP’,” the editorial said.
“What will they do now? During the swearing-in ceremony (of Ajit Pawar on Sunday), the expressions on their faces (of Shinde bloc members) made it evident that their future is dark,” it claimed.
“Their so-called Hindutva is now over. The day is not very far when Shinde and his rebel colleagues will be disqualified, is the true meaning of Sunday’s development,” the Marathi publication further claimed.
“Those who possess the arrogance of power and believe they can buy out their opposition are taking control of democracy. These people are not even ready to hold elections for 14 municipal corporations in the state, including Mumbai city,” it said.
“The (previous) Congress regime and the British rule were much better as one could fight with them on the street openly. Ajit Pawar has not taken the decision to support Shinde on any moral ground,” it added.
The editorial also hit out at BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, claiming he had said they will never join hands with NCP, “the party of corrupts” and that Ajit Pawar was facing allegations in an irrigation scam worth Rs 70,000 crore.
“This swearing-in has exposed the BJP’s true face,” it said.
Refusing to accept that Sunday’s developments came as a surprise for everyone, the editorial claimed some people were already aware of this “earthquake”.
“What happened to the Shiv Sena a year ago is now happening to the NCP. As NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, there will be a new day tomorrow,” the editorial said, adding it was not an earthquake but minor tremors.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)