The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), under the leadership of Sharad Pawar, has taken steps to disqualify its seven lawmakers in Nagaland and its sole legislator in Jharkhand. This move comes as a response to the lawmakers’ defection to the rebel faction led by Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar.

Earlier, disqualification petitions were lodged against 45 lawmakers in Maharashtra following a split within the NCP. Dheeraj Sharma, an NCP leader, explained that the disqualification petitions in Nagaland and Jharkhand were filed against the MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) for their involvement in activities that were deemed contrary to the party’s interests.

The rebel faction of the NCP is aligned with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-BJP government in Nagaland. All seven NCP MLAs from Nagaland were in Mumbai and were expected to meet with Ajit Pawar on Tuesday.

In a reciprocal move, the Ajit Pawar camp has also submitted disqualification petitions against ten NCP lawmakers from the Sharad Pawar faction in Maharashtra.

On July 2, Ajit Pawar joined the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government in Maharashtra and assumed the role of Deputy Chief Minister. He was subsequently elected as the new national president of his faction. Both factions of the NCP claim to have support from 24 state units. The Pawar-led faction has gathered approximately 40,000 affidavits from party workers pledging their allegiance to the party patriarch, while the rebel faction has presented around 60,000 such affidavits.

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