In a warning to the Congress, senior Nationalist Congress party (NCP) leader Praful Patel on Saturday asked it not to take his party lightly.
"The NCP is not a small child you can play with. Take the NCP seriously. Don't go by NCP's strength," Patel said at a state workers convention at Betalbatim in South Goa, 45 km from Panaji.
Patel, who is also the union minister of state for civil aviation, said the NCP was not to be messed around with in Goa.
"The Congress should understand that you cannot ignore the NCP in Goa. NCP has emerged in Goa as a third alternative. There cannot be a government in Goa without the NCP," Patel said.
Terming party chief and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar as one of the stellar political pillars of the country, Patel said that the decision to waive off Rs 72,000 crore of outstanding farm loans was one of the biggest decisions taken by the central government since Independence.
The state NCP workers convention was attended by nearly 8,000 people, including former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, Pawar's daughter and MP Supriya Sule and other NCP leaders.