Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday dwelt on the issue of the recent splits and defections in the party and sought to give the prime reason for the developments.
Ar a social media meeting organised by the party, Pawar sought to shed light on the motives behind the departure of certain party members, emphasising the role of Enforcement Directorate (ED) inquiries launched by the Centre.
While refraining from explicitly naming his nephew Ajit Pawar, who orchestrated the departure of several MLAs to join the Shiv Sena-BJP government last month, he dismissed their claim of joining the government for developmental purposes, asserting that this narrative was far from accurate.
"There were some changes in the past. Some of our members left us. They (the Ajit Pawar faction) say they went for development but this is not at all true. The Centre had launched an ED inquiry against them and they left the NCP. Some members (from the Ajit Pawar faction) were told to join them (BJP) or they will be sent somewhere else," he contended.
The senior Pawar further drew attention to the contrasting responses exhibited by various party members when faced with ED inquiries. While some chose to depart from the party to evade scrutiny, others, such as Anil Deshmukh, demonstrated resilience and commitment to their party ideology.
"However, some members were ready to face the inquiry. (Ex-home minister) Anil Deshmukh was in jail for 14 months. Even Deshmukh was asked to change his role (loyalty) but he stood firm on his decision (to not quit NCP)," he said.
Amid these developments, Pawar underlined the urgency for the state government to address the concerns faced by the common populace. "The state is facing issues such as unemployment, farmers are also suffering," he said.