Ajit Pawar, a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, said that “elective merit” will be considered when allocating tickets for the next Lok Sabha elections. They will also discuss who will represent the Shirur Lok Sabha seat with senior leaders. Amol Kolhe of NCP currently represents the seat, and they won against Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil of Shiv Sena in the 2019 polls. After severing ties with BJP, Shiv Sena joined NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
Pawar spoke to reporters during the review meeting of NCP where they discussed preparations for a public rally on June 9 to celebrate the party’s foundation day. During the meeting, Pawar said that candidates with elective merit will have the opportunity to receive tickets for Lok Sabha elections. When asked about Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule calling NCP’s OBC cell convention a “nautanki,” Pawar responded that they can’t expect their opponents to speak well about them.
Pawar also criticized the ruling BJP over the OBC quota issue and stated that Maha Vikas Aghadi had decided to approach the court. The Supreme Court directed the State Election Commission and Maharashtra government to maintain the status quo regarding the poll process to the local bodies in August 2022. The government had filed a plea seeking a recall of the apex court order by which it had directed the SEC not to re-notify the poll process to 367 local bodies where it had already commenced to provide reservation to OBC.
Pawar questioned why the state government in power for a year now did not hold elections and why they’re pointing fingers over the issue. He also criticized the delayed cabinet expansion and said that it’s their prerogative if they think that the current Cabinet of 20 ministers is doing a good job. On August 9 last year, 18 ministers were inducted into the Shinde-Fadnavis government after it came to power in June, while the council of ministers in the state can have a maximum of 43 members.