The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the second largest constituent of the UPA after the Congress, wants early general elections and has already asked its cadre to be battle ready.
NCP sources said a section in the party is trying to convince the Congress leadership to advance the general elections to November-December this year and make the monsoon session the last sitting of the 15th Lok Sabha.
This section is of the view that the exit of Trinamool Congress and DMK and the repeated threats by the Samajwadi Party to pull the plug could force the “collapse of a vulnerable UPA” anytime now.
NCP chief and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has already chalked out the party strategy for the next elections and asked his colleagues and workers to be ready for early polls. Having nine MPs, including Agatha Sangma from Meghalaya, in the current Lok Sabha, the party is eyeing 22 out of the total 48 seats from Maharashtra and has initiated steps to augment its strength.
The party – that had contested the same number of seats from the state in 2009 but managed to win only 8 – is expected to start the process of selection of candidates and constituencies soon.