Stung by the Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) lack-lustre performance in the recent civic polls across the state, party president Sharad Pawar has summoned senior leaders, including nephew and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and home minister RR Patil for an evaluation meeting.
The meeting is likely to be held in New Delhi on Monday, and could result in changes in the party's organisation.
Party sources said that Pawar was miffed by the civic poll results, particularly in Mumbai, where the party has failed to make inroads in the last three polls –with its tally ranging between 12 and 14.
This year too, the NCP won 13 seats in Mumbai, whereas it had hoped to win around 20. In neighbouring Thane, Pune and Nashik, the party performed well, but did not win enough seats to wrest control of the corporation on its own.
“In our party, there is accountability, and Pawar saheb always evaluates our performance,” said Sachin Ahir, city legislator and minister of state for housing.
Before the civic polls, the party had adopted an aggressive expansion strategy and the elections were a test of the NCP's strength in urban areas. The party was aiming to go solo in the 2014 Assembly polls.
That plan is now likely to be put on the backburner as both saffron combine and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) managed to retain strengthen their hold in cities.
”One of our big concerns in the BMC polls was that we lost seats in the Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies of our MLAs and Member of Parliament. Alarm bells are ringing, because we will contest state polls in two years,” said a senior leader.
NCP has three legislators in Mumbai and one MP. The party had insisted on contesting seats in these areas, sure of a victory of their candidates on the strength of their legislators.
However, the candidates picked by their legislators have got a drubbing in the polls. For instance, legislator Milind Kamble's wife, who contested the polls, was defeated as was legislator Nawab Malik's brother Kaptan Malik.