Tuesday, July 16, 2024

After debacle, Ajit Pawar convenes 2 meetings to discuss roadmap for Maha Assembly polls


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Shillong, June 6: In the wake of the party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, NCP chief Ajit Pawar has convened two meetings – one with party ministers and the another with its legislators on Thursday to review performance and discuss the ways forward ahead of the upcoming state Assembly elections slated for September-October.


These meetings are crucial as the NCP has won only Raigad seat against the four it got during the seat-sharing agreement with BJP and Shiv Sena. Party has lost Baramati, Shirur and Osmanabad.


These meetings are also significant as the party leaders, including legislator Amol Mitkari, have targeted its allies – the BJP and the Shinde faction – for not working hard for NCP nominees.


Mitkari and several others have claimed that the “lack of proactive role” by the BJP and Shinde faction leaders and cadres marred the poll prospects of NCP nominees.


Today’s meetings are expected to discuss how to bridge the gap with allies and decide strategies to further strengthen ties and cooperation at the grassroots level in the run-up to the Assembly elections.


These meetings will also discuss the roadmap for the Assembly elections in which the party hopes to get 80-90 seats.


Senior minister Chhagan Bhujbal at the recently held party meeting has urged Pawar to remind the promises made by the BJP to allot 80-90 seats during the Assembly elections to avoid last-minute confusion as was prevalent in the Lok Sabha elections.


Bhujbal further reminded that the BJP had made the promise of respecting allies when the NCP decided to join the MahaYuti government in July 2023.


What was disturbing for Pawar was his wife and party nominee Sunetra Pawar’s defeat on his home turf Baramati against his estranged cousin and sitting MP Supriya Sule. Although it was a fight between two sisters-in-law, it was projected as a fight between Ajit Pawar and Sharad Pawar. What has hurt Ajit the most was Supriya has succeeded in getting a higher margin in the Baramati Assembly segment from where Ajit was elected during the 2019 elections.


Further, the party faced a humiliating defeat in Osmanabad where it had to nominate former BJP leader Archana Pawar after her last-minute induction into the party fold. Patil, who is the daughter of BJP legislator Rana Jagjit Singh Patil, lost to Shiv Sena UBT nominee Omraje Nimbalkar.


Similarly, the party relied in Shirur on former MP Shivajirao Adhalrao who left the Shinde faction and joined the NCP. Adhalrao’s nomination did not click with the voters as they voted for the sitting MP and NCP SP nominee Amol Kolhe.


NCP heaved a relief after the state party chief Sunil Tatkare’s victory in Raigad district against Shiv Sena UBT nominee Anant Geete.


Tatkare, despite fearing backlash from Muslim and Kunbi voters, systematically ran his campaign approaching them with an assurance to scale up Raigad’s development. (IANS)


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