‘Felt like laughing’: Praful Patel on the Patna opposition unity meeting

5 July, 2023 | Muskan Menghani

51 ncp mlas wanted sharad pawar to explore possibility of joining maha govt in 2022 praful patel 2023 07 04 Political

Praful Patel, took a jibe at the opposition parties' meeting in Patna last month, saying he felt "like laughing" when he saw the fact that seven of the 17 parties in attendance had just one MP for ...

Praful Patel, a former union minister who is a member of the NCP coalition led by Ajit Pawar, made fun of the opposition parties’ meeting in Patna last month, saying he felt “like laughing” when he saw the fact that seven of the 17 parties in attendance had just one MP for the Lok Sabha and that there was also a party without an MP. Speaking at a gathering of NCP leaders organized by the Ajit Pawar faction at the Mumbai Education Trust Bandra, Patel said they joined the NDA in Maharashtra “for the nation and our party and not for personal gain.”

On Wednesday, the Nationalist Congress Party crisis worsened as the two groups held concurrent meetings as a show of force. Ajit Pawar, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, is at a meeting of NCP MPs, MLAs, MLCs, district heads, and state delegates at Mumbai Education Trust (MET) Bandra while the NCP, led by Sharad Pawar, is holding a meeting of its members at Mumbai’s YB Chavan Auditorium.
On June 23, Praful Patel and Sharad Pawar attended a meeting of opposition parties in Patna. Before he changed sides, Sharad Pawar was a close friend of the former union minister. Praful Patel stated that there were concerns about their coming together and listed organizations like the PDP and National Conference that had previously partnered with the BJP.

“What is the problem with joining the BJP when we could accept Shiv Sena’s ideology? We are a separate organization that has joined this alliance. Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti joined the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir and are now members of the joint opposition, he claimed. He laughed at the claims of the opposition parties to bring about change.

“With Sharad Pawar, I attended the joint opposition meeting in Patna, and when I saw the scene there, I couldn’t help but laugh.” There were 17 opposition parties present, 7 of which have just one member of the Lok Sabha, and one party has no members of the Lok Sabha. They promise to effect changeā€¦ This decision (to join NDA) was made for the benefit of the country and our party, not for our own benefit, he said. After the two factions made significant appointments to bolster their claim to control of the party, parallel meetings followed.

Ajit Pawar’s Sunday reversal of allegiance and appointment as Deputy Chief Minister in the Eknath Shinde-BJP administration is what started the Nationalist Congress Party’s crisis. On Sunday, Pawar was joined by eight additional NCP MLAs for the oath of office. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has submitted a disqualification petition to Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar on behalf of the nine MLAs. In addition to Ajit Pawar, other ministers who joined the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis Maharashtra government on Sunday include Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Patil, Hasan Mushrif, Dhananjay Mundo, Dharmaraobaba Atram, Aditi Tatkare, Sanjay Bansode, and Anil Patil. Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare have been expelled from the party by Sharad Pawar for engaging in “anti-party activities.”