Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today said the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will work under the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and that is the only “formula as of now” for the top post.
He was asked about Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole’s recent reported remarks of contesting polls alone and expressing his desire to be the party’s face for the chief minister’s post with the high command’s consent.
Asked if there is any “formula” over the post within the ruling MVA, Mr Pawar said: “As of now there is only one type of formula – that everyone will work under the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.”
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader said majority in the assembly decides who will be the chief minister.
“However, if Nana (Patole) has expressed his desire (to occupy CM post), he has right to express it. He expressed it because he felt so. Ultimately, in a democracy, if anyone expresses a desire (to become CM) one has to attain the “magic figure” of 145 seats in the state (which has a 288-member assembly). Anyone who achieves it, can claim the CM post,” Mr Pawar said.
Speaking about Mr Patole’s statement of going solo in the assembly polls, he said the Congress leader has the right to say so.
“Though three parties are together in the MVA, all three have right to expand their base. So, as the state Congress president, he (Nana Patole) can assert his party’s stand,” Mr Pawar added.
The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi has the NCP and the Congress as its constituents.
Asked about the opposition criticizing the government’s decision to not allow foot march by devotees of Lord Vitthal this year also due to COVID-19, Mr Pawar said the opposition was still having “stomach pain” over a three-party government coming to power in the state.
He said the decision was taking after consulting all stakeholders.
“They have been thinking for the last 15 months that this government will fall one day, but that has not happened,” the NCP leader said.
On alleged irregularities in a land deal for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Mr Pawar said people have donated generously for the project. “If there are allegations, facts need to be brought before people whose money and sentiments are attached to the project,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)