Mumbai: The NCP has the option of contesting
the upcoming local bodies elections on its own despite its
stand that secular votes should not be divided, party chief
Sharad Pawar said on Thursday.
In 2007 too, both Congress and NCP did not have a pre-poll
alliance for the local bodies elections, Pawar told reporters
"If our allies want to go separate ways for local bodies
polls, it is their right and we cannot insist otherwise. Our
party will get an opportunity to contest all seats and we are
making preparations on that front. I am not aware what is the
current stand of Congress on the issue of alliance," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Agricultural Minister met senior
leaders from the state and Mumbai unit of NCP and discussed
the political situation in the metropolis where civic polls
will be held in early 2012.
Factionalism in the party was also discussed and several
office bearers demanded that the current city unit president
Narendra Varma be replaced, party sources said.
NCP had put five MLCs from Mumbai in charge of five Lok
Sabha constituencies and Sanjay Patil, MP from Mumbai North
East will look after his constituency in terms of disbursement
of funds to carry out development works in wards where party
candidates had finished second in 2007 civic polls.
The five MLCs and Patil gave their report on the party`s
strengths and weaknesses in Mumbai.
Addressing NCP women workers Pawar stressed the need to
train women, who are aspiring to contest local bodies polls.
Pawar also said NCP will celebrate its 12th foundation day
on June 10 by organising a `Social justice conference` in
Mumbai and has the party has decided to dedicate the day by
raising its voice for oppressed sections of the society.
"A committee headed by state unit president Madhukar
Pichad will look into various state and central government
laws meant for the uplift of backward classes and suggest what
corrective measures need to be taken to improve the schemes.
The committee will also study programmes and policies of other
states before preparing a report and submitting it to
Maharashtra government and Centre," Pawar said.
The NCP leader denied that the focus on backward classes
had anything to do with the local bodies polls.
Pawar said Maharashtra under his leadership as Chief
Minister was the first to implement the 33 per cent
reservation for women in local bodies, and the mandal
We also renamed the Marathwada university after dalit icon
B R Ambedkar, he said, adding "We were the first to come out
with a women`s policy in the early 90s. All this was done not
for electoral gains. Most of the time there were losses."