New Delhi: Hours after resigning as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday night reached the 'Silver Oak' residence of his uncle and party chief Sharad Pawar in south Mumbai. Supriya Sule, the daughter of Sharad Pawar, was also present at the meeting, sources told CNN-News18.
Ajit Pawar reached out to Sharad Pawar following persuasion by NCP leaders who demanded that the former returned to the party fold.
Ajit Pawar, who had lent support to the BJP-led government on Saturday, on Tuesday resigned as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, hours after the Supreme Court mandated a floor test in the Assembly.
The development led to the collapse of the government headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also stepped down in afternoon. This paved the way for the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance to stake claim to form the government, with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray scheduled to take oath on Thursday.
Ajit Pawar, who was on Saturday sacked as the NCP legislature party leader, did not attend a joint meeting of the three allies on Tuesday evening.
Senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, who was present at the meeting, later appealed to Sharad Pawar that his nephew be persuaded to return to the party fold keeping his "contribution" to the organisation in mind.
"Several people have worked hard for the the NCP. I want to mention, Ajit Dada's contribution is big in this regard. Mistakes happen...We need some key people to be around to strengthen this alliance," Bhujbal said, adding that Jayant Patil and Praful Patel take the initiative to bring him back.
"We request you to allow us to do that," Bhujbal appealed to Sharad Pawar.
NCP supporters also hailed Ajit Pawar for resigning as deputy chief minster of the BJP-led government in the state, leading to its collapse. A group of his loyalists distributed sweets in his home town Baramati in Pune district.
The loyalists also appealed that Ajit Pawar, who was sacked as the NCP legislature party leader on Saturday after joining hands with the BJP, must not take "extreme step" like quitting politics.
(With inputs from agencies)