Putting IPL row aside, Pawar focuses on politics | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Putting IPL row aside, Pawar focuses on politics

Unruffled by the Indian Premier League controversy that has put his party in the dock, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, is out to strengthen NCP in the Konkan region.

mumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2010 01:40 IST
HT Correspondent

Unruffled by the Indian Premier League controversy that has put his party in the dock, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, is out to strengthen NCP in the Konkan region.

Pawar will attend party meetings in Mahad and Ratnagiri on Sunday where two senior Shiv Sena leaders will join the NCP. Ravindra Mane and Prabhakar More were ministers in the Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government in the mid-1990s.

Pawar is likely to tell party workers to concentrate on organisation work rather than worrying too much about IPL controversies that feature senior leaders and their kin.

Expanding its base in the coastal region is important for the NCP because it had lagged behind the Congress and Shiv Sena in the 2009 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

The party is putting in all efforts to woo the region. The NCP feels that induction of the two Sena leaders will boost its chances further.

It has made hefty budget allocations for the region through local NCP leader and Finance Minister, Sunil Tatkare.

Mane and More, both Maratha leaders, claimed the Sena leadership sidelined them. Mane, who is from Ratnagiri, was once very close to Sena senior and former chief minister, Manohar Joshi.

He had resigned as minister of state for urban development to save Joshi's skin when a land scam broke in Pune.

More, who is from Mahad, was minister of state for home during the saffron rule. Tatkare roped him in after he fell out with the Sena leadership.