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"Always with respectable sir": NCP's Anil Deshmukh and Jitendra Awhad come out in support of Sharad Pawar

Mumbai (Maharashtra) : Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Anil Deshmukh and Jitendra Awhad on Sunday came out in support of party patriarch Sharad Pawar after senior leader Ajit Pawar sensationally switched over to the BJP-led NDA along with a band of 8 loyalist MLAs and took oath as deputy chief minister in the Eknath Shinde government. Taking to Twitter, Anil Deshmukh wrote, "I and all our colleagues are with Sahab!!". He tagged his post with a picture of himself with Sharad Pawar. Jitendra Awhad, too, pledged his support to the NCP patriarch, tweeting, "Always with respectable sir...!" Hours after Ajit Pawar raised the flag of rebellion and joined the Maharashtra government along with his loyalist legislators, the NCP chief held a press conference, saying, "This is not 'googly', it is a robbery", adding that he was worried about the future of those who left the party. The NCP chief, however, said he was not worried about what happened and will work to strengthen the party again. Further, hinting at action against dissident party elders Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare, he said they did not discharge their responsibilities faithfully. He added that some of those who joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government were facing ED cases. "Some of my colleagues have taken a different stand. I had called a meeting of all the leaders on July 6 where some important issues were to be discussed and some changes were to be made within the party. However, even before that meeting could happen, some of our leaders took a different stand," he added. Sharad Pawar said that in the next two-three days, they will sit with Congress and Uddhav Thackeray to assess the situation. "Our main strength is the common people, they have elected us," he said. On accusations against his nephew pertaining to the alleged irrigation scam, Sharad Pawar took a dig at BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying, "It is clear that all the charges have now been cleared".

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