Facing the crucial assembly elections in Maharashtra in October, Congress’ biggest ally, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on Tuesday termed the bigger partner a “baggage”. NCP’s senior spokesperson D P Tripathy, considered close to Pawar also openly criticised Rahul Gandhi over the results.
“Some people in the party indeed feel that the Congress has become a baggage for the NCP ahead of the Maharashtra elections. They want NCP to go alone” Tripathy told HT. The NCP has called a review meeting of the election results on 22 and 23 May in Mumbai where all candidates and ministers would be asked to give reasons for the dismal performance.
The NCP bagged 6 seats including four from Maharashtra, its strongest base.
Even as the Congress is leaving no stones unturned to insulate its vice-president Rahul Gandhi from the poll debacle, Tripathy told HT that Gandhi’s campaign failed to cut ice.
“Rahul Gandhi will have to change both his content and style of politics. Narendra Modi coined ‘acche din aanewale hain’ well and could sell dreams and hope to voters, particularly to the youth.”
“The Congress campaign was mostly talking about the past. It had nothing about the future,” Tripathy added. According to the senior NCP leader, it was also a “wrong” strategy not to project any PM candidate of the UPA coalition. “The BJP certainly got additional advantage because of the clear projection of the PM candidate,” he added.
Tripathy, however, made it clear that there is little chance of NCP breaking the alliance with the Congress ahead of the Maharashtra elections.