Sharad Pawar-led faction seeks disqualification of Nagaland, Jharkhand NCP MLAs

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Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction has filed disqualification petitions against the party’s seven lawmakers in Nagaland and lone legislators in Jharkhand. People aware of the matter said the faction sought action against the eight for shifting loyalties to Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s rebel faction.

Disqualification petitions were earlier filed against 45 lawmakers in Maharashtra following the NCP split. “The disqualification petitions [in Nagaland and Jharkhand] have been filed against the MLAs [members of legislative assembly] for indulging in anti-party activities,” said NCP leader Dheeraj Sharma.

The rebel faction of NCP is part of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-BJP government in Nagaland. All seven NCP MLAs from Nagaland were in Mumbai and likely to meet Ajit Pawar on Tuesday.

The Ajit Pawar camp has also filed disqualification petitions against 10 NCP Sharad Pawar faction lawmakers in Maharashtra.

On July 2, Ajit Pawar joined Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government and was inducted as a deputy chief minister. His faction elected Ajit Pawar as their new national president. Both factions claim to have support from 24 state units. The Pawar-led faction has filed around 40,000 affidavits of the party workers pledging their support to the party patriarch. The rebel faction has submitted around 60,000 such affidavits.