NCP plays mind games: Door ajar for ghar-wapsi

Mumbai: Now, it is NCP’s turn to play mind games with the BJP. The party dropped a broad hint on Sunday that it has left the door ajar for ‘ghar wapsi’ -- by those turncoats who had deserted it in the run-up to the Assembly election.

However, the return of the turncoats will be strictly on merit, said NCP's state unit chief Jayant Patil. Speaking to reporters before the NCP's core committee meeting, Patil said many of the MLAs who had joined the BJP before elections were in touch with them.

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Asked if there will be a 'mega-bharti' (wholesale induction of leaders) into the NCP, he said, "There won't be any mega-bharti. While admitting people into the party, we will have to consider the loyalty shown by younger leaders from each constituency who stayed with us," he added.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on Sharad Pawar’s meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday. Whether Uddhav Thackeray will join them on Tuesday will be determined by the understanding that emerges on the chief ministerial candidate.

It is understood that the Congress will prefer a non-Thackeray as the chief minister. It is expected that the formal decision will be taken in the next couple of days.

The political space between the Cong-NCP and the Shiv Sena has already narrowed down. State NCP President Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal and Congress leader Bhai Jagtap visited Shivaji Park to pay homage to Balasaheb Thackeray on his death anniversary.

Incidentally, Muslims offered a saffron "chaddar" specially brought from Ajmer Sharif, which is a positive signal that Sena is ready to shed its Hindutva image and re-invent itself as an inclusive umbrella party. Last month, Aaditya Thackeray had visited Ajmer Sharif and offered prayers. Input PTI.