There will be no mid-term polls in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Thursday.
His comments come at a time several top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in the state said they were ready for midterm polls to capitalise on the party’s soaring popularity. That the polls could end the constant bickering with ally Shiv Sena is another reason the BJP is keen, sources said.
But at a party meeting on Thursday, Pawar told his party workers, “Whatever talk is going on over mid-term polls, they are all just rumors. I can say there is no such possibility.”
Pawar, however, said the state Assembly and Lok Sabha polls may be conducted together.
“The only possibility which I see is both state Assembly polls and the Lok Sabha polls may be conducted together. In the past too, the two elections have been held together, and you (party workers) should be ready if such a situation arises,” he said.
Pawar pointed out that the BJP cannot lose the Sena’s support until the July’s presidential elections, as it needs the Sena’s votes.
Just three months ago, however, Pawar had said he would prefer mid-term polls and declared that his party will not support the BJP if the Sena decided to pull out of the coalition government in the state after the Mumbai civic body elections.
Thursday meeting was called to review the NCP’s performance in local body elections over the past few months.
At the meeting, Pawar asked party leaders to take a stand against cow vigilantes for attacking the innocent.
He also pulled up his leaders and asked them to take on the ruling BJP.
“Despite being in the government, the Sena is making tours in the hinterland. Now the BJP is preparing for one (Samvad Yatra), but we are happily doing nothing even after two and half years of regime change. We need to change our mentality. Need to travel across the state. People have expectations from us and if this is done, I am sure the picture will change,” the former agriculture minister said