Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that his party may go solo in the zilla parishad elections next year, if Congress was not keen on having an alliance.
“In any coalition one always goes with like-minded parties, and both the parties should compromise by discussing the issue. But if the other member is keen on going it alone, then we don't have any other option. We are capable of contesting elections on our own,” said Pawar.
He was speaking at the Panchayat Raj workshop organised by his party in Navi Mumbai with an eye on the upcoming zilla parishad and civic elections next year.
All NCP functionaries and senior ministers, including deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, home minister RR Patil, public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal, were present at the workshop.
Pawar added that decision to fight elections solo would be taken in some areas depending on the situation there and after taking local sentiment into consideration.
The NCP didn’t do well in the last assembly elections, wherein its legislators strength went down from 69 in 2004 to 62 in 2009 and is aggressively eyeing upcoming elections to strength its base.
Referring to the zilla parishad polls, Ajit had said: “The NCP will contest election on its own in Sangli, Satara, Pune. We are strong enough in these regions to contest without the Congress party."
Pawar had said that in areas like Marathwada and Vidarbha ( where NCP’s presence is negligible) it would contest along with Congress.
Meanwhile, Pawar said Muslims would be given more opportunities in the selection of candidates for zilla parishad polls. “There are not many Muslim members on zilla parishads, compared to Dalits and women. The party’s effort would be to field more Muslim candidates this time.”
Pawar on Jaitapur project
It is necessary to start this plant to over come power deficit in the state. The state had ample power up to 1995 but today we are facing a power crisis. Jaitapur project would generate power at a cheaper rate, he said. He said it would not impact the environment adversely.