Mumbai: NCP legislator from adjoining Thane, Jitendra Awhad, has emerged frontrunner for the post of the party`s chief of Maharashtra unit, after incumbent Madhukar Pichad was sworn-in as Cabinet minister earlier this week.
The new state NCP president would be announced here tomorrow.
Pichad was among the six ministers, including five from NCP and an associate member, inducted into the state ministry on Tuesday.
"There is a view that Awhad, as state unit chief, will be able to galvanise the young voters and counter the BJP`s strategy of appointing the young Devendra Fadnavis as its state unit president," NCP sources told a news agency.
The name of former minister Bhaskar Jadhav is also doing the rounds, but there are indications that the party leadership has zeroed in on Awhad`s name, the sources said.
The appointment of the new state NCP chief assumes significance as the party gears for the 2014 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly Elections.
The Sharad Pawar-led party dropped six of its 20 ministers in Tuesday`s exercise. The NCP is in coalition with the Congress in the state.
Last week, Pawar, in a surprise move, asked all the 20 ministers of his party to submit their resignations. "There was a feeling that if new faces aren`t brought in, the party`s younger leadership will soon be demoralised and will start feeling restive," a party leader said.