Mumbai: Even as counting of votes for Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on May 16, the ruling alliance partners Congress and NCP have decided to launch preparations for Assembly elections slated later this year.
As part of preparations, Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar earlier this week met senior leaders of his party to take stock of political situation in Maharashtra and also assessed party`s chances in 21 seats it had contested in the state in recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Pawar also called upon the party workers and leaders to begin groundwork for upcoming elections.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had already declared that Congress and NCP, who have been in alliance since 1999, will fight the polls together to claim power for the fourth term to keep NDA alliance of Shiv Sena and BJP at bay.
Pawar also held one-on-one meetings with district unit chiefs of NCP.
According to sources in NCP, Pawar, who is currently abroad, will return next week.
Pawar has convened a meeting of various stake-holders, including candidates who had contested Lok Sabha polls, party district unit chiefs, MLAs, ministers and office-bearers, on May 10 at "Devgiri", the official residence of deputy Chief Minister and his nephew Ajit Pawar, they said.
"Pawar is expected to hand over responsibilities for the Assembly polls to senior leaders and office-bearers," according to sources.
Meanwhile, state Congress unit is also holding a review meeting tomorrow of its district unit chiefs and office-bearers as the part of preparations for Assembly polls.
"Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, MPCC president Manikrao Thakare will be present at the meeting," they added.
Though the coalition partners fought the Lok Sabha polls unitedly and with better coordination, there were a few instances wherein local Congress leaders worked against official NCP candidates.