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I am with NCP, Pawar Saheb is our leader: Ajit Pawar

A day after his stunning volte face, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday said he was still with the Nationalist Congress Party, adding Sharad Pawar continued to be his leader.

In a series of tweets after thanking Bharatiya Janata Party leaders for their congratulatory messages, Ajit Pawar also said the “BJP-NCP alliance” will provide a stable government in Maharashtra for the next five years.

“I am in the NCP and shall always be in the NCP and @PawarSpeaks Saheb is our leader. Our BJP-NCP alliance shall provide a stable Government in Maharashtra for the next five years which will work sincerely for the welfare of the State and its people,” the 60-year-old leader tweeted.

“There is absolutely no need to worry, all is well. However a little patience is required. Thank you very much for all your support,” he tweeted.

Earlier, Ajit Pawar assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would work hard for people of the state.

NCP sources said this was an indication that the nephew of party chief Sharad Pawar had spurned all efforts to persuade him to rescind his shocking move to back the BJP.

Ajit Pawar also changed his Twitter bio to ‘Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra’ and ‘Nationalist Congress Party Leader’.

Modi on Saturday congratulated Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar for taking oath as chief minister and deputy chief minister of Maharashtra respectively, and expressed confidence that the two will work for the state’s development.

Responding to Modi’s congratulatory message after his sudden swearing in as deputy CM on Saturday, Ajit Pawar in a tweet thanked the prime minister.

“Thank you Hon. Prime Minister @narendramodi ji. We will ensure a stable Government that will work hard for the welfare of the people of Maharashtra,” he tweeted.

He also thanked Union Home Minister Amit Shah, other central ministers Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal, BJP working president J P Nadda and other BJP leaders for their good wishes on his taking charge as the deputy chief minister.

Earlier, NCP leaders Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse Patil called on Ajit Pawar in the morning to persuade him to reconsider his decison.

In a stunning turn of events in Maharashtra, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday returned as chief minister propped up by Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy, just hours after the new alliance of Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress reached a consensus that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be their chief ministerial candidate.

The Shiv Sena approached the Supreme Court against the “arbitrary and malafide actions/decisions” of Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari of swearing in Fadnavis.

Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in by Koshyari at 8 am at a hush hush ceremony in Mumbai after dramatic midnight developments, leading to the lifting of the President’s rule in Maharashtra.

On Saturday evening, the NCP removed Ajit Pawar as the party’s legislature unit head, saying his move was not in line with the party’s policies.

The BJP and the Sena, which fought the last month’s assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively.

The Sena, however, broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister’s post.

The Congress and the NCP, both pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats respectively.

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