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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Sharad Pawar to take call on NCP state unit chief today

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 15, 2013
First Published: 09:50 IST(15/6/2013) | Last Updated: 09:52 IST(15/6/2013)

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is expected to announce its state unit president on Saturday after a general body meeting.

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The move comes close on the heels of a cabinet reshuffle wherein the party inducted its former state party president Madhukar Pichad as a minister.

According to party sources, the job of the state unit chief is likely to go to a young member who can galvanise the party for 2014 elections.

The front-runners for the post include Bhaskar Jadhav, former minister of state for urban development, Jitendra Awhad, party legislator from Mumbra, and Babanrao Pachpute, former tribal development minister.

Both Jadhav and Pachpute were dropped from the cabinet earlier this week.

Awhad is being considered for the top party post as he is loyal to party chief Sharad Pawar and belongs to Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is aggressively trying to wean away OBC votes with two faces from that category  —Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and senior state leader Gopinath Munde — it would be sensible move to appoint a young OBC leader like Awhad as head of the state NCP unit, a section of the party top brass think.

It is also said that Sharad Pawar may appoint a working president in the meeting.

“There is speculation that Jadhav would be made president and Awhad would be offered working president’s job. But, at the end of the day, it’s solely Pawar’s call,” said a party source.


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