Ajit Faction MLA Meets Sharad Pawar, Hints at Changing Sides Again

Mumbai: In a major jolt to the Ajit Pawar-led NCP ahead of the Lok Sabha election, NCP MLA from Ahmednagar’s Parner constituency, Nilesh Lanke is all set to join the Sharad Pawar faction. Mr. Lanke is likely to be the MVA candidate against the BJP in Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat.

Earlier in the day, Ajit Pawar said that Lanke would have to resign from Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha, if he wanted to contest the Lok Sabha election as MVA candidate. Former MNS leader Vasant More from Pune, who resigned from the party a couple of days ago, is also expected to join the Sharad Pawar-led party.

Mr. Lanke on Thursday shared a stage with Sharad Pawar at the latter's office in Pune. He also praised Sharad Pawar for his contribution in the development of the country.

This may be the first blow to the Ajit Pawar faction after getting NCP’s name and its election symbol clock.

When asked if he is joining the Sharad Pawar faction, Mr. Lanke said that he is with the ideology of Sharad Pawar. “I never left the leadership of Saheb (Sharad Pawar)…whatever the political situation is in Taluka, District and the state, I have kept his photo in my office. He holds a special place in our hearts and nobody can replace him,” he said.

The Parner MLA also avoided further speaking about his plans and said he met Sharad Pawar for the release of his book.

Ajit Pawar stated that some people are misguiding Mr. Lanke that he can become a member of Lok Sabha. “Mr. Lanke is popular in Parner, but there are five more assembly constituencies in Ahmednagar. The situation in other assembly segments is different, but some people are trying to convince him that he can win the Lok Sabha seat. I told him to make the right decision. But it will be his call,” Ajit said.

However, Mr. Lanke said that he had not held any discussion about the Lok Sabha election with Sharad Pawar.

In 2019, NCP had won four out of six assembly seats that are part of Ahmednagar City Lok Sabha seat. It is being said that the NCP founder has offered Mr Lanke a candidature from the seat against the BJP sitting Lok Sabha member Sujay Vikhe-Patil, who is son of Maharashtra revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil. Post this, Mr Lanke had shown a positive response.

Former MNS leader Vasant More also met the NCP founder at his office in Pune. According to sources, Mr. More wants to contest Pune Lok Sabha seat and he quit Raj Thackeray’s party for that.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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