Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday asked his partymen to be prepared to go it alone for Maharashtra assembly elections later this year if Congress was averse to continuation of its alliance. He said if Congress and NCP contest separately, Shiv-Sena alliance would benefit.
"Our desire is to go with Congress (for the Assembly poll) but that should not be a view which only NCP shares," Pawar said at a party meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday evening.
If the alliance with Congress fails to materialise, party workers and functionaries should gear up to contest all 288 assembly seats, Pawar said. Assembly polls are are due in around three months.
"During the recent polls, Congress-NCP got 39 per cent votes and Shiv Sena-BJP alliance secured 36 per cent votes," Pawar said. "There is a difference of only three per cent and if we (Congress and NCP) were to contest separately, the saffron alliance will benefit," he said.
Referring to NCP's performance in Lok Saha poll which saw the party's tally in the state coming down from nine to eight, Pawar said over-confidence and lack of unity among party functionaries in some constituencies were to blame.
"Some of us were working for others," Pawar said, referring to the infighting in NCP which led to loss of its candidates in its stronghold western Maharashtra.