Missing NCP MLAs back in the fold, stand with Sharad Pawar: Nawab Malik

Missing NCP MLAs back in the fold, stand with Sharad Pawar: NCP's Nawab Malik
With the return of the four missing MLAs, NCP leader Nawab Malik has claimed that 53 of its 54 MLAs are back with the party and have pledged their support to Sharad Pawar

As the political circus plays on in Maharashtra, the four Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs that had been reported missing since after government formation in Maharashtra have returned and are back in the party’s fold.

Of the four, Daulat Daroda and Anil Patil were lodged in a 5-star hotel in Gurugram and came back to Mumbai along with Nationalist youth Congress president Dheeraj Sharma and Nationalist Student Congress chief Sonia Doohan late Sunday night.

Another lawmaker Nitin Pawar had already reached Mumbai on Sunday while NCP MLA Narhari Zirwal is reportedly at a safe location in Delhi.

Sharma claimed that the four were “misled” and kept at the hotel by BJP workers “against their will”. All four have now pledged their support to the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, which won 54 seats in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

In the wake of the development, NCP leader Nawab Malik has claimed that 53 MLAs have come back to the party.

Meanwhile, amid fears of poaching, all NCP MLAs have been moved to Hotel Hyatt near the Mumbai Airport. Shiv Sena and Congress, too, have shifted their MLAs to Hotel Lalit and JW Marriott, respectively.

In a surprise development, Devendra Fadnavis took oath for the second consecutive term as the state Chief Minister early morning on Saturday, while Ajit Pawar was sworn-in as Deputy Chief Minister.

Later that day, NCP removed Ajit Pawar as the leader of its legislative party, with the party chief saying that the decision of Ajit to align with the BJP was against the party line and any MLA who aligns with him is likely to face anti-defection law.

The opposition alliance later moved Supreme Court, which has directed CM Fadnavis and the Centre to produce relevant documents and letters of support from MLAs by 10 am on November 25.

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