|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Those keen to leave NCP can do so: Sharad Pawar
August 01, 2004 18:53 IST
In a strong message to sulking Nationalist Congress Party leaders, including high profile former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, party president Sharad Pawar on Sunday said those wishing to leave the party could do so.
Addressing a party workshop in Mumbai, the NCP chief warned that those who had deserted him in the past were not able to get elected to the state assembly again.
"I had formed the government in Maharashtra in 1980 with 56 MLAs out of which 51 left me. But in the next polls, 54 of my supporters won while those deserting me were not seen in the assembly again," Pawar said.
The maratha strongman's statement assumes significance in the backdrop of disgruntled NCP leaders, including firebrand leader Bhujbal, airing their unhappiness with the party.
Another senior leader, Laxman Dhoble, who has served in the Sushilkumar Shinde ministry, had on Saturday announced his decision to quit the party following his defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
Though Bhujbal was absent, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer attended the function.
Later, expressing confidence that Bhujbal would not quit the party, state NCP chief R R Patil said, "Everything on the issue will be cleared in the next four days."
He explained Bhujbal's absence to reporters saying he was out of the city due to other engagements. "I have met him and there was no such discussion about his leaving the party," he said.
"Dissent can be expressed by staying in the party and the issue can be resolved through discussions.
"However, he said, those who have taken a decision to quit are looking for an excuse. They should not forget the NCP's contribution in bringing them to such a position. There will not be any impact on the party due to the decision of a few to quit," he added.
On a query that about reports of Congress luring disgruntled NCP leaders, Patil said if this is the case then the Congress should not object of other parties do the same.
These developments come amidst reports of simmering discontent among non-maratha NCP leaders, like Madhukar Pichad and Vasant Chavan, as it was perceived that the maratha community was dominating the party hierarchy. Pichad did not attend the workshop but Chavan did.
More reports from Maharashtra
Read about: Telgi case | Mumbai blasts