Mumbai: It seemed like a scene straight out of a Bollywood thriller as Shiv Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Milind Narvekar caught hold of ‘missing’ NCP MLA Sanjay Bansod from near the Mumbai airport on Saturday evening and questioned him about his ‘abduction’ by the BJP as part of the political coup the party pulled in Maharashtra along with Ajit Pawar.
Bansod, who was reportedly on his way to Delhi, was then taken to a hotel where Sena MLAs have been put up. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar — who has distanced himself from his nephew’s association with the BJP — then spoke to Bansod and sent MLA Shashikant Shinde to the hotel. Shinde later took Bansod to YB Chavan Centre for an NCP meeting.
The action came on a day of dramatic developments in which BJP's Devendra Fadnavis returned as Chief Minister, propped up by the NCP's Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy, just hours after the new Sena-NCP-Congress alliance reached a consensus that Uddhav Thackeray will be their chief ministerial candidate.
Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in by Governor BS Koshyari at 8am at a hush-hush ceremony in the Maharashtra capital after dramatic midnight developments, leading to the lifting of President's Rule in the state.
The opposition parties have accused Koshyari of acting illegally, with the Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala claiming Koshyari once again proved to be BJP chief Amit Shah's "hitman".
Ajit Pawar's volte face created fissures in the NCP, with chief Sharad Pawar distancing himself from his nephew's action and saying the decision to back Fadnavis for his second consecutive term was his personal choice and not that of the party. Later, the NCP removed Ajit Pawar from the post of the leader of its legislature group.