NCP chief to hold two-day meet on poll strategy from tomorrow | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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NCP chief to hold two-day meet on poll strategy from tomorrow

mumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2013 01:15 IST
HT Correspondent

In a bid to review the party's strength and electoral preparedness for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will hold a meeting with his senior ministers and party functionaries in the state on Friday and Saturday.

With the NCP having only eight MPs, the party top brass is keen on bettering its numbers to increase its clout at the national level.

There have been indications that the party is looking at a mega rejig to ensure more Lok Sabha seats, with party's senior second-rung leadership being asked to contest.

The decision is unlikely to go down well with NCP's heavyweights, who have mentored their Assembly constituencies and have occupied ministerial berths for over a decade. Speculation is rife that the party will get youngsters and leaders poached from other parties to replace the senior leaders in the state Assembly elections.

According to sources, the names being considered for the polls include public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal, rural development minister Jayant Patil, tribal development minister Babanrao Pachpute, MSRDC minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar and state Assembly speaker Dilip Walse Patil.

"The party is readying itself for the general elections. This will be a preliminary meeting to look at our strengths and weaknesses. It is too early to discuss the list of candidates, but there is definitely a plan to depute senior leaders to Delhi," said a senior party functionary.

He added that Pawar was likely to ask senior leaders to step aside for the party. "The leaders have the wherewithal to win Lok Sabha seats," he said.

Sources said that deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar was rooting for this plan as an electoral strategy. Over the last year-and-a-half, Pawar has been reaching out to senior leaders of other parties especially the Shiv Sena.