Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Friday asserted that there was no split in his party, PTI reported.

The veteran leader said that his nephew Ajit Pawar and other MLAs of the party have merely taken a different political stand, which is allowed in a democracy.

Ajit Pawar, along with eight rebel MLAs of the party, had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena coalition government in Maharashtra in July. He was sworn in as deputy chief minister of the state along with the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis.

The move led to a split within the Nationalist Congress Party, with one faction supporting Sharad Pawar and the other backing Ajit Pawar.

Two days before the political crisis had played out, Ajit Pawar had removed his uncle from the post of Nationalist Congress Party president and approached the Election Commission staking claim to the party name as well as symbol. In response, the Sharad Pawar faction later informed the poll body that disqualification proceedings had been initiated against nine MLAs, including Ajit Pawar.

Sharad Pawar, however, on Friday said that there was no question about Ajit Pawar not being the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party.

“A split occurs when a large group in a party is separated at the national level,” the 82-year-old told reporters in his home turf Baramati, according to the Hindustan Times. “But no such thing has happened here.”

A day before, Sharad Pawar’s daughter and party’s working president, Supriya Sule, had called Ajit Pawar a senior leader and MLA of the party.

“Now, he [Ajit Pawar] has taken a stand that is against the party, and we have given a complaint to the assembly speaker and are awaiting his response,” Sule had said, according to PTI.