Monday, July 22
Pawar Shinde

Ajit Pawar, took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister in the Maharashtra government led by Eknath Shinde.

Governor Ramesh Bais administered the oath of office to Ajit Pawar as the Deputy Chief Minister during a ceremony held at Raj Bhawan. Additionally, eight other leaders from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were also sworn in as ministers.

Ajit Pawar, a senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), created a vertical split within the party by joining the Maharashtra government led by Eknath Shinde as the Deputy Chief Minister. According to sources, Ajit Pawar and his supporters were displeased by the presence of NCP President Sharad Pawar and Working President Supriya Sule at an opposition meeting in Patna.

Governor Ramesh Bais administered the oath of office to Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister at a ceremony held at Raj Bhawan. Additionally, eight other NCP leaders took oath as ministers, namely Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Dhananjay Munde, Aditi Tatkare, Dharmarao Atram, Anil Patil, and Sanjay Bansode.

Rahul Narwekar, the Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly, confirmed Ajit Pawar’s resignation as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lower House. Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal and NCP Working President Praful Patel were also present at the Raj Bhawan.

Chandrashekhar Bawankule, the Maharashtra BJP president, claimed that 40 out of the total 53 NCP MLAs have extended their support to the state government. The state Assembly elections are scheduled for next year.

This political development occurred a year after Eknath Shinde’s revolt against the Shiv Sena, leading to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. On June 30, 2022, Shinde was sworn in as the Chief Minister, with Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the Deputy CM.

Ashish Shelar, the BJP’s Mumbai unit president and former State Minister, commented that NCP’s major faction led by Ajit Pawar is democratically joining the Shinde and Fadnavis government and extending support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to safeguard Hindutva.

Earlier in the day, Ajit Pawar held a meeting with some party leaders and MLAs at his official residence in Mumbai. Senior NCP leader Bhujbal and Working President Supriya Sule attended the meeting, although Sule left early. NCP President Sharad Pawar, who was in Pune, claimed to be unaware of the meeting.

After the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections, the Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, severed ties with long-term ally BJP. Subsequently, Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in as the Chief Minister and Deputy CM, respectively, in a secretive ceremony at Raj Bhawan, but their government lasted only 80 hours. Thackeray later formed the MVA government by forging an alliance with the NCP and Congress. In June of the following year, Shinde’s revolt resulted in a split in the Shiv Sena and the collapse of the MVA government, leading Shinde to become CM with BJP’s support.