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NCP split: Sharad Pawar attends disqualification petition hearing; MP Sunil Tatkare cross examined

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Nationalist Congress Party founder Sharad Pawar on Thursday attended the hearing at Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan of the disqualification petitions filed in connection with the split in the party in July last year after Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Ekanth Shinde government. The former Union minister was present for an hour at the hearing, being held by Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar, while the Ajit Pawar faction was represented by Lok Sabha MP Sunil Tatkare, sources said.

Tatkare was cross examined by lawyers from the Sharad Pawar faction, they added.

Incidentally, the Ajit Pawar faction has maintained the party has not split and has also questioned the internal election process prior to the events in July last year. Both factions have filed cross petitions with the speaker seeking disqualification of each other’s MLAs.

The Supreme Court has set January 31 deadline for the speaker’s verdict in the NCP disqualification case.