Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday sacked Ajit Pawar as its leader in the State legislature after he joined hands with the BJP and took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The party, however, has not yet cancelled his party membership.

“The decision to sack Ajit Pawar was taken at the meeting of the party’s MLAs here,” news agency PTI quoted party sources as saying. The sources added that a resolution was passed at the legislature wing’s meeting.

The meeting was attended by party supremo Sharad Pawar, state chief Jayant Patil and other senior leaders. The party also announced that Patil will replace Pawar as the new party legislature leader and will take all other decisions pertaining in the matter.

As an additional precaution, the party took the signatures of all the present newly-elected NCP MLAs, along with their names, endorsing the unanimous decisions, reported news agency IANS.

Ajit Pawar was appointed to the coveted post on October 30, a week after the election results were announced on October 24.

The development comes after Ajit joined hands with the BJP and took the oath of the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra sparking a political storm in the country. Later, Sharad Pawar issued a clarification that Ajit’s decision to support the BJP is his personal and the party does not support or endorse him.

“Ajit Pawar's decision is against the party line and is indiscipline. No NCP leader or worker is in favour of an NCP-BJP government. All the MLAs who are going must know that there is an anti-defection law and the possibility of them losing their assembly membership is high,” he said at a joint press conference with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Meanwhile, party spokesperson Nawab Malik said the list of NCP MLAs submitted by Ajit Pawar to the governor before taking oath was actually a letter signed by the party MLAs when they had attended a meeting earlier.

Some of the MLAs, who were present with Ajit Pawar during the oath-taking ceremony, later pledged their loyalty to Sharad Pawar.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma