iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 28, 2013
Union agriculture minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar indicated yet again that the UPA government may collapse anytime. Pawar, who was in the city on Saturday to hold a review meeting to assess his party’s strength in its 22 Lok Sabha seats, is learnt to have told NCP leaders that it was time to kick-start electoral work as there was uncertainty in Parliament and any of the key allies of UPA could withdraw support anytime.

“NCP chief has told us that the situation of the UPA government is fragile and its key supporters could pull out any time leading to its collapse. NCP is preparing for the worst case scenario,’’ said party spokesperson Nawab Malik, after the day-long close-door meeting at the NCP office in Nariman Point.

Earlier this month, after DMK pulled out, Pawar had told the media that UPA was vulnerable with only NCP and National Conference staying within the alliance led by Congress and one should prepare for early polls.

Malik ruled out NCP pulling out of UPA and added they would have a pre-poll alliance with Congress for Lok Sabha polls in the state. NCP wants to contest 22 of 48 seats and retain the seat-sharing formula of 2009.

Pawar is learnt to have told his leaders that a clear picture will emerge in the coming week (reaction of parties to the latest controversy of CBI affidavit in the Supreme Court) or latest by May 10, when Parliament wraps up.

 NCP’s top brass has indicated the likelihood of Lok Sabha polls being held by October or November. There is a feeling within the Congress too that this coalition cannot sustain till 2014.