Ahmednagar: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday expelled at least 18 corporators of Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation (AMC) who voted for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP’s) candidate during the mayor elections which was held last month.

The move comes ahead of alliance with the Congress for upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party has also suspended Ahmednagar district president for not having any idea about the defection. As per sources, NCP had served a seven-day notice to these corporators. Earlier, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar did not invite legislator Sangram Jagtap for the meeting to decide on the presumable candidate for Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat.

On Wednesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar met in New Delhi to discuss the seat-sharing arrangement in Maharashtra for the upcoming general elections. Reportedly, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and NCP leader Praful Patel were also present during the meeting.

On a related note, NCP was in the news recently after its state chief Jayant Patil dared Shiv Sena to walk out of the state cabinet in reaction to Amit Shah’s claim that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was capable of thrashing even erstwhile allies in the coming elections.

Directing his dare at Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Patil said on Thursday, “The president of the other party (BJP) talks about plonking you down. If you have (late Shiv Sena founder) Balasaheb Thackeray’s blood running in your veins, show the courage to walk out of the state Cabinet tomorrow morning.”

NCP’s Patil also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity was going downhill with each passing day, and there was “no wave” in the country now. He said, “We have launched this Parivartan Yatra campaign to rid the country and state of the BJP.”

Patil’s ire towards both Shiv Sena and BJP came out during a rally in the state which was also addressed by senior leaders Chhagan Bhujbal, Ajit Pawar and Dhananjay Munde among others. During the rally, Pawar hit out at the Centre over the 10 per cent quota to the economically backward section in the general category.