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HomeCity NewsChhagan Bhujbal Eyes Shift to Thackeray-led Shiv Sena Amid Party Discontent

Chhagan Bhujbal Eyes Shift to Thackeray-led Shiv Sena Amid Party Discontent

Despite his aspirations for a Rajya Sabha seat, the party chose to nominate Sunetra Pawar, the wife of Ajit Pawar, who subsequently lost to Supriya Sule from Baramati in the Lok Sabha elections.

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chhagan bhujbal, ncp, nationalist congress party, uddhav thackeray, shiv sena, shiv sena (ubt), obc, caste census

In a significant political development, State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, a key figure in the Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), is reportedly preparing to defect to Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena.

Sources indicate that Bhujbal feels sidelined after being denied a ticket from the Nashik constituency. Despite his aspirations for a Rajya Sabha seat, the party chose to nominate Sunetra Pawar, the wife of Ajit Pawar, who subsequently lost to Supriya Sule from Baramati in the Lok Sabha elections.

Bhujbal, a prominent OBC leader and head of the Samata Parishad, a social organisation, held a meeting with his supporters on Monday to weigh his options. During the meeting, he expressed his intention to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to conduct a nationwide caste census to ascertain the exact OBC population.

This potential shift by Bhujbal comes amidst claims by NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) leader Rohit Pawar, who stated that 18 to 19 MLAs from the Ajit Pawar faction are in contact with them and may switch allegiances after the monsoon session. Rohit Pawar, the grandnephew of NCP founder Sharad Pawar, mentioned that these MLAs have refrained from criticising senior party leaders since the split in July 2023.

“There are 18 to 19 NCP MLAs who are in touch with us and Pawar Saheb,” Rohit Pawar told reporters on Monday. “They must attend legislative sessions and secure development funds for their constituencies, so they will wait until the session is over before making the switch.”

The final decision on re-integrating these MLAs will be made by Sharad Pawar and other senior NCP leaders, according to Rohit Pawar, who represents Karjat-Jamkhed in Ahmednagar district.

However, Bhujbal sought to clarify his stance following the Samata Parishad meeting. “I never said I was unhappy with the party. Sometimes you pay your dues; sometimes it takes time in politics,” he stated. He reaffirmed his commitment to reservation and advocated for a caste-based survey of OBCs. Bhujbal emphasised that with the Modi government back in power for a third term, it is crucial for the state government to push for the survey to ensure communities demanding quotas receive them based on their population.

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Akshay Redij
Akshay Redij
Akshay is a Digital Editor and Photojournalist with Afternoon Voice for the last 6 years. Writes mostly on Civic issues, Politics and Technology.
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