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NCP chief Sharad Pawar to embark on Maharashtra tour

The party has witnessed a mass exodus from across the state. Its key leaders, who had enjoyed ministerial berths and were with the party since its inception two decades ago, have quit the party.

mumbai Updated: Sep 13, 2019 22:38 IST
Amid the mass exodus from his party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will embark on a state-wide tour from September 17
Amid the mass exodus from his party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will embark on a state-wide tour from September 17(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
         

Amid the mass exodus from his party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will embark on a state-wide tour from September 17, beginning with the first six-day phase in districts of Marathwada and western Maharashtra. The NCP chief will take a review of the ground situation and also tap younger leaders to contest the Assembly elections, party insiders said.

The party has witnessed a mass exodus from across the state. Its key leaders, who had enjoyed ministerial berths and were with the party since its inception two decades ago, have quit the party. The recent casualties are former state unit chief Bhaskar Jadhav who joined the Shiv Sena on Thursday and party’s sitting MP from Satara Udayanaraje Bhosale, who is joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday. Its key leader from Navi Mumbai Ganesh Naik joined the BJP with his son Sanjeev Naik two days ago.

With the morale of the party rank and file is at an all-time low, Pawar has decided to hit the ground. During the first phase of the six-day tour, Pawar will meet party workers and local leaders from Osmanabad, Beed, Latur, Parbhani, Solapur and Ahmednagar. Except Solapur and Ahmednagar, other districts are in Marathwada. This is his first election tour after the Lok Sabha elections, as part of his outreach programme. He will address public rallies in other parts of the state, after the announcement of the elections, a party functionary said.

Jaydutt Kshirsagar, Rana Jagjitsinh Patil from districts of Marathwada, Vijaysinh Mohite Patil, Ranjitsingh Mohite Patil, Dilip Sopal from Solapur quit the party recently. A few other leaders, including Baban Shinde, are on the verge of quitting the party. The party enjoys a sizable base in a few Marathwada districts, including Beed, Osmanabad and Parbhani.

“The tour will begin from Solapur and Osmanabad on Tuesday. He will meet local leaders, including former MPs, MLAs, mayors, elected representatives of local bodies, district and tehsil presidents. There will be no public meeting during the tour ending on September 22. We expect the tour to boost the morale of party workers,” said a party functionary.

The NCP held two phases of its Shiv Swarajya Yatra, which saw public meetings in western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha. Except Pawar, other leaders, including state unit chief Jayant Pawar, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, leader of opposition in legislative council Dhananjay Munde and MP Amol Kolhe among others, participated in the yatra.

Party spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The statewide tour is to mobilise party workers ahead of the elections. It will help the party to build an alternative fold of leaders.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2019 22:10 IST

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