The BJP’S big Pawar punch

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With an eye on the 2024 general election, the saffron party splits the NCP to strengthen the ruling coalition, reduce Eknath Shinde’s clout and weaken opposition formations at the state and national level

Dhaval S. Kulkarni

ISSUE DATE: Jul 17, 2023 | UPDATED: Jul 7, 2023 18:36 IST

A NEW DEPUTY CM: Shinde, governor Ramesh Bais and Fadnavis at Ajit Pawar’s swearing-in ceremony, July 2 (Photo: Getty Images)

A NEW DEPUTY CM: Shinde, governor Ramesh Bais and Fadnavis at Ajit Pawar’s swearing-in ceremony, July 2 (Photo: Getty Images)

As political manoeuvres go, this was a masterstroke. Just a year after it broke the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and formed one of its own with Eknath Shinde’s band of 39 Shiv Sena MLAs, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has struck again, this time weaning away leader of the opposition Ajit Pawar and leaving the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in disarray.

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