Praful Patel appoints Sunil Tatkare as Maharashtra NCP chief, Ajit Pawar named legislature party leader
Soon after being removed as NCP working president, Praful Patel on Monday evening announced the appointment of Lok Sabha MP Sunil Tatkare as the party’s state unit chief , replacing Jayant Patil, and Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar as its legislature wing leader.
Earlier, NCP president Sharad Pawar sacked Patel and Tatkare, both MPs who have sided with Ajit Pawar in his rebellion, from the party.
Patel, a Rajya Sabha MP who was named NCP working president last month, told a press conference here he had informed Patil to hand over the charge to Tatkare.
Patel said Ajit Pawar will be the NCP’s legislature party leader.
“Today is Guru Purnima; we all wish that Sharad Pawar continues to bless us,” said Patel Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who was present at the press meet, said he enjoyed the support of “maximum” NCP legislators and said he has given a letter to the Assembly Speaker, seeking disqualification of party MLAs Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhad from the House.
Ajit Pawar said the party and MLAs were with him and the notice for disqualification against him and the eight newly sworn-in ministers was meaningless.
The deputy CM said he had the party with him and also its symbol (clock).
“Whatever we are doing is in the interest of the party. We will strengthen our party further, ” he said.
Asked who was the NCP’s national head, Ajit Pawar shot back, “The party national president is Sharad Pawar. Have you forgotten?” He said the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly is appointed by the Speaker and not by a party functionary.
In other appointments announced by Patel, Rupali Chakankar has been named chief of the NCP’s state women’s wing, while MLC Amol Mitkari and Anand Paranjpe will be spokespersons. Suraj Chavan has been appointed the party’s youth wing president in Maharashtra.