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’13 MLAs of Sharad Pawar’s NCP are in contact with BJP, may switch sides’, say reports

India TV quoted Maha Vikas Aghadi sources as hinting that as many as 13 NCP MLAs are currently in touch with the state BJP and may soon switch over.

If media reports are to be believed, Maharashtra could be eyeing another political upheaval with at least 13 MLAs of Sharad Pawar’s National Congress Party (NCP) joining the saffron camp. On Monday, April 17, India TV quoted Maha Vikas Aghadi ‘sources’ as hinting that as many as 13 NCP MLAs are currently in touch with the state BJP and may soon switch over.

Sources in the NCP reportedly claimed that these MLAs are under pressure to defect from Sharad Pawar’s party. Sharad Pawar has reportedly made several attempts to convince these MLAs, but they are hell-bent, reported India TV.

Meanwhile, two days ago, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut claimed that when they met Sharad Pawar recently, the NCP chief told them that the way Shiv Sena was broken by using ED, CBI and Police, the same tactics are now being used to break NCP.

“NCP MLAs are under pressure, they are being threatened. Some people may leave the party under pressure but NCP will not align with the BJP,” Sanjay Raut quoted Sharad Pawar as saying.

It is pertinent to recall here how in June last year, a major political crisis gripped Maharashtra when Uddhav Thackeray, who was running the government in alliance with Congress and NCP, lost his power after Eknath Shinde led a revolt against him because he disagreed with Thackeray’s decision not to end the alliance with Maha Vikas Aaghadi. Shinde’s faction was successful in seizing control of the party and, with the help of the BJP, establishing a new government in Maharashtra.

In a recent development, the Election Commission of India (ECI) withdrew the national party status of Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, reassigning it as a regional party. Besides, Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) also lost their national party status.

In a statement, the poll panel announced that it was withdrawing the status of three recognized National Parties- AITC, CPI, and NCP. The Election Commission said they are doing it “following due process and providing the sufficient opportunity of two Parliamentary elections and 21 State Assembly Elections”.

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