Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Awhad on Saturday said he was ready to quit the party and keep away from its affairs permanently if Ajit Pawar and the latter’s faction believe a coterie including the Mumbra-Kalwa MLA and Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil were hovering around Sharad Pawar.
Talking to reporters while waiting with NCP supporters to welcome Sharad Pawar who was on his way to a rally in Yeola in Nashik, Mr Awhad said he would also get Mr Patil to quit the party if the Ajit Pawar faction believes they had to leave because of such a group around the party founder.
“If they feel a few of us are hovering around Sharad Pawar and that is why they had to leave the NCP, then I am ready to quit the party and keep away from politics. I will also ensure Jayant Patil does the same,” Mr Awhad, the MLA from Mumbra-Kalwa in Thane district, told reporters.
“If they feel they have quit NCP due to us then what is the use of us remaining in the party. If they believe their presence is essential for the growth of the party then let them come back. We will walk away (to facilitate such a move),” he asserted.
Mr Awhad, who said he may declare his plan to exit the party at the rally in Yeola, asserted he and and others could not see Sharad Pawar suffering at this age due to the recent developments.
Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs, including Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil and Hasan Mushrif, split the NCP and joined the Eknath Shinde government on July 2.
Mr Awhad said those who have left must ponder on the help they got from the party and Sharad Pawar during their political careers.
Earlier, scores of party workers gathered at various spots in Thane district, including Anand Nagar check post, Bhiwandi Bypass, Padgha and Shahapur, to welcome Sharad Pawar as he made his way by road from Mumbai to Nashik for the Yeola rally.
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