Prepare for mini assembly polls, Sharad Pawar tells NCP leaders in Mumbai
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is all set to start its preparations for the upcoming local bodies polls touted as ‘mini assembly elections’. Party chief Sharad Pawar asked the party leaders to start preparations. They were directed to become aggressive against the wrong policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government and raise their voice on issues that are directly related to the common people, such as a spike in prices of fuel and LPG cylinders.
NCP ministers were also asked to resolve local issues related to people, hold visits of districts, flood-hit areas and ‘janata darbars’ (public courts) by following Covid-19 protocols.
The party has also decided to field Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates on the seats reserved for the community in the local bodies and fell vacant following a verdict of the Supreme Court over political reservation of the OBC community. The decision was taken in case the Apex court directed the state election commission to hold by-polls of the concerned local bodies.
NCP also declared that they are not in favour of holding elections in any of the local bodies until the issue related to OBC reservation is resolved, said Nawab Malik, national spokesperson, NCP.
More than 15 municipal corporations (including Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane), 29 of 36 district councils and over 90 municipal councils will go for polls over the next one year. The election bandwagon to these local bodies in such a huge number is considered as the ‘mini assembly polls’.
“Pawar saheb asked the party leaders to become vocal on issues directly related with the Central government especially LPG gas, fuel prices as people are very much affected. As we are unable to hold large public gatherings owing to Covid restrictions, he directed to go among people on the issue by following Covid protocols,” Malik said.
“In the next five-six months elections of local bodies such municipal corporations, municipal councils, zilla parishads and nagar panchayats are expected to be held and NCP leaders should start their preparations. Ministers were asked to help local leaders in resolving issues related to the people. As far as the alliance is concerned, the decision will be taken at a later stage, based on the local situation. It is not necessary that there will be an alliance (with MVA partners) in all the local bodies,” Malik told reporters after the meeting.
NCP had contested 114 seats in the state assembly elections held in 2019 and won 54 seats.
The leaders present for the meeting were asked to explain the political situation of the district, public issues at the local level among others. Around 55 leaders expressed their views and opinions in the meeting that lasted for almost six hours.
“The most common problem raised by the leaders was the disconnection of power connection of the farmers over non-payment of power bills. The leaders said that the farmers are already facing serious financial problems and disconnection of power bills have added to their woes and the action started by the power company needs to be stopped immediately,” said an NCP leader, wishing not to be named.
“To this, Pawar saheb asked the ministers to see what can be done to provide relief to the farmers in these testing times,” he added.