Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said he was not behind Ajit Pawar's decision to align with the Bharatiya Janata Party and become the deputy chief minister and asserted that his party along with the Congress and the Shiv Sena will form the next government in Maharashtra.
Addressing reporters in Karad town of neighbouring Satara district, the NCP chief reiterated that the decision of aligning with the BJP was that of his nephew Ajit Pawar and not of the NCP.
"It is not the party's decision and we do not endorse it," Pawar said. "It is wrong to say that I have a hand behind Ajit Pawar's revolt," he added.
Asked whether the NCP, the Congress and the Shiv Sena will form government in the state, he said, "There is not an iota of doubt that the government (of the combine) will be formed in Maharashtra."
He also said that he has no contact with his nephew, who rebelled against the NCP.
On whether Ajit Pawar will be expelled from the NCP, he said the decision will be taken at the party-level.
In a dramatic turn of events, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in as chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at 8 am on Saturday at a hush hush ceremony in Raj Bhavan in Mumbai, leading to the lifting of the President's rule in the state.
The BJP was propped up by NCP's Ajit Pawar, who revolted against his party.
"I have seen many such scenarios in my 50 years of political career. Difficulties come but they are temporary, and my experience is that people of the state stand strong," the NCP supremo said.
He said till the time he has the support of youngsters, he is not worried about anything.
Earlier, Sharad Pawar paid tributes to the state's first chief minister Yashwantrao Chavan on his death anniversary.
He arrived at Chavan's memorial in Karad early in the morning and offered floral tributes.
He was accompanied by Srinivas Patil, the NCP's Lok Sabha member from Satara.
Pawar also attended a 'bhajan' ceremony organised as a mark of respect to the late Congress stalwart.
The NCP chief is expected to attend a couple of other events also in Karad during the day.
Notably, Ajit Pawar sat on a day-long fast at Chavan's memorial in April 2013 after some of his remarks on the then drought situation in the state stoked a controversy.