Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar indicated that his senior ministers, many of them holding portfolios for the past 14 years, may be entrusted to win Lok Sabha seats for the party.
If this happens, it could mean Pawar senior may give bigger space to his nephew and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar in the party’s state-level affairs.
Pawar, who held a two-day review meeting on Saturday to assess the party’s strength in the 22 Lok Sabha seats it had contested in 2009, is learnt to have said that the party had failed to increase its numbers and, as such, senior leaders should shoulder this responsibility.
This includes several ministers who make up the party’s second-rung leadership, and their transfer to Delhi could change the political dynamics in the state.
District-level leaders of these 22 seats who interacted with Pawar, wanted senior leaders to contest the general election. The NCP chief too felt the same way as senior leaders have the wherewithal to win the seats, said party spokesperson Nawab Malik.
Ajit Pawar is said to be the strategist behind this move.
With names of half-a-dozen senior ministers being considered for Lok Sabha elections, Ajit may be given a free rein to run the party at the state level.