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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Pawar’s mid-term poll prediction irks Congress

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 29, 2013
First Published: 00:55 IST(29/4/2013) | Last Updated: 00:56 IST(29/4/2013)

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar’s prediction of mid- term polls for the Lok Sabha has not gone down well with Congress leaders in Maharashtra.
Though the Congress has been claiming that the UPA government at the Centre will complete its tenure, the Maharashtra unit of the party claimed they were prepared for elections at any time.

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To rubbish the NCP chief’s statement on his prediction, union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde assured party workers in Pune on Sunday that the UPA government would complete its term. However, the common message the party leadership has been spreading was to get prepared for the general elections. The message was loud and clear at the party leader training workshops held in the last few weeks.

Manikrao Thakre said his party was prepared for the election at any time. “There is no reason for mid- term polls of the Lok Sabha. The party is always ready for any election. It’s an on-going process to train and groom the party leadership from the election point of view,” he told HT. “I don’t know on what basis Pawar has predicted the mid-term polls, but our position in the state is strong.”

Pawar had said on Saturday that the UPA government has become unstable as its allies are parting ways with it.

Another Congress leader said on the condition of anonymity that even the Congress may opt for mid-term polls. “There are assembly elections of four states, which are not favourable for us in the month of November.  If the Congress fares badly in the assembly polls, the fallout would reflect in the LS elections to be held early next year. Secondly, early polls may prove favourable to us in the backdrop of the weaker opposition,” he said.

Thakre had alleged a couple of days ago that the NCP had back-stabbed his party in Vidarbha by not abiding to pre-poll agreements in the municipal council elections.


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