Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday addressed the media, hours after his nephew Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy chief minister with Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister.

Pawar said that only 10 or 11 legislators were supporting Ajit Pawar and that the BJP would not have the numbers to have a majority in the Assembly. He said the NCP would continue to back the Shiv Sena in an alliance to form the government. “A true NCP leader will never leave his party and join others,” he said. “BJP as a party has always believed in forming an alliance with anyone and in any manner to come to power,” says NCP chief Sharad Pawar. “But NCP can never join hands with BJP.”

Ajit Pawar was sacked as legislative party leader.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at the press conference said the BJP had disrespected the Constitution and held a “political surgical strike”. “The BJP must go back and introspect. They should see what ideals Shivaji Maharaj stood for,” he said. “We [Shiv Sena] don’t play night games. We don’t split parties.”

Sharad Pawar added that the two parties would do whatever necessary to keep their MLAs in their camp.

The BJP and Congress will also hold press conferences later in the day.

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