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Weak in bastion, Pawar chale Bihar

Party workers want Sharad Pawar to rebuild the party in Maharashtra before expanding its foothold in Bihar.

Sharad (2)Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders in Maharashtra are upset with Sharad Pawar’s decision to hold party convention in Patna. Pawar had taken this decision keeping in mind the forthcoming Bihar assembly polls. Tariq Anwar had won a single Lok Sabha seat in Bihar. On the other hand, party workers find it futile, meaningless and wastage of time to hold a convention in Bihar. NCP is likely to win two seats in the Bihar assembly polls.

Pawar is keen to rebuild the party ever since it suffered a massive defeat in Maharashtra assembly polls and Lok Sabha election. The only consolation for Pawar is that by holding convention in Bihar he can claim that NCP is a national party and bargain for more seats with Nitish-Lalu by showing its presence. Local NCP workers feel that it would be better Pawar accepts the reality; that he is not a national but a regional leader and NCP does not exist outside Maharashtra!

A party worker spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “Pawar should first concentrate on rebuilding the party from the grassroots level at Maharashtra before expanding its foothold across the nation. Everybody is aware that NCP is weak in Bihar and caste plays a vital role in the state’s politics.”

“Since the party convention is being held in Patna but many party workers might find it difficult to travel such a huge distance. Moreover, who will bear the transportation, boarding and lodging expenses? Lot of work needs to be done in Maharashtra as the NCP had suffered a massive defeat in the state” said another party worker.

“There was a time when NCP had surged ahead of the Congress by winning more seats in Maharashtra. But now the situation has changed and the party will have to work very hard to regain the lost ground. Holding a convention in Bihar won’t change the fortunes of the party” said a party leader.

NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said, “The draft of political and economic resolutions to be adopted at the convention on June 10 was discussed.
Election of the NCP national president and office bearers would be the agenda of the June 10 national convention. Political as well as economic resolutions would also be discussed.”

“We have been in alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for the last ten years and we will be part of the broader alliance this time as well,” he said.

On June 10, the NCP will also observe the sixteenth anniversary of its foundation.

The NCP, which snapped its 15-year-old alliance with Congress ahead of the state elections, won 41 seats in the 288-member House, while Congress bagged 42 seats. The party was founded in May 1999 by Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar and PA. Sangma. The trio were expelled from the Congress for protesting against the leadership of Sonia Gandhi on the pretext that she was a foreigner.

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