Brushing aside speculations about him changing sides, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Maharashtra chief Jayant Patil on Sunday said that he was “committed to the party led by Sharad Pawar”.
About rumours that he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Pune, Patil said, “I have absolutely no idea from where these information is coming. I met Sharad Pawar Satur-day evening. Along with party colleagues, we were at my residence in Mumbai till 1.30 am. On Sunday morning, I met Sharad Pawar. And now I am heading to NCP office.”
When Pawar senior offered to step down a month ago, Patil broke down in public and prevailed on the NCP chief to change his decision.
During Shah’s Pune visit there were speculations that Jayant Patil along with some MLAs were likely to join the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP. In the recently concluded monsoon session of the Assembly, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar jokingly said, “We have set our eyes on you. But you are not responding.”
On July 2, Ajit Pawar along with over 35 MLAs joined the BJP-led coalition government in Maharashtra. Ajit Pawar was made deputy CM and was given finance portfolio, while eight others with him were made cabinet ministers.