Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday announced that the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would fight the upcoming Assembly Elections in the state together.
Chavan also expressed confidence that Congress-NCP alliance would win a fourth term in office.
“NCP, Congress to contest Maharashtra Assembly polls together,” Chavan confirmed to reporters here.
Replying to a query, the Congress leader said there was no pressure on the alliance after the massive win of the Narendra Modi-led NDA in the Lok Sabha polls 2014.
"Both Congress and NCP would go to the people seeking a fourth term in office with full strength and confidence," said Chavan, who took over as the Chief Minister in November 2010.
Asked about alliance partner NCP`s demand of equal seat- sharing in the 288-member Assembly, Chavan said such issues are not discussed in front of the media.
"We will talk about it in the co-ordination committee meeting. This will be our sixth election together (both Assembly and Lok Sabha). My efforts would be to ensure win in maximum seats," the Congress leader said, as per PTI.
On whether Sharad Pawar has been asked by Congress to lead the alliance`s poll campaign, Chavan further said, "I have no idea. My leaders have not told me so. I can`t elaborate further."
Asked whether he would contest the Assembly polls, Chavan, currently an MLC, added, "I will announce my decision when time comes."
On Pawar`s views that a chief minister should be an elected representative (MLA), he said, "decisions are taken as per prevailing political situation. Late Vasantdada Patil and Pawar himself served as chief ministers for some time while being a member of Legislative Council."
Chavan was sceptical whether a US Presidential style campaign done by BJP in the Lok Sabha election would be replicated in the Maharashtra polls.
"Narendra Modi was branded as a product like soap or a toothpaste which clicked with the voters," he said.
Congress and NCP, who fought the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections together, fared poorly winning just half a dozen seats between them out of the 48 in the state, where Assembly poll is due by October.
Yesterday, putting an end to the suspense over the issue of change of leadership in the state, the party`s high command in Maharashtra, AICC General Secretary Mohan Prakash had said that CM Prithviraj Chavan will continue in his post and lead Congress in the upcoming Assembly Elections.
The signal from AICC came after Chavan met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Many Congress leaders had earlier said that any leadership change at the eleventh hour would prove counter-productive in the poll-bound state.
On Wednesday, Chavan had called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and had later said that he had a `very good meeting` with her during which he discussed the party`s readiness for the October Assembly elections in Maharashtra.
In the wake of the party`s rout in the General Elections, a section of its leaders in Maharashtra had sought Chavan`s removal from the post of chief minister.