Mumbai: To expand its base in Mumbai which constitutes 36 Assembly seats, NCP has decided to target MNS and its chief Raj Thackeray who has been targeting NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar during his recent state rallies, sources said.
Ajit Pawar`s political strategy for the 2014 assembly elections is to ensure that the NCP improves its base in Mumbai and Vidarbha, to make it the single largest party in Maharashtra, so that he can bid for the Chief Minister`s post.
Pawar had convened a meeting of senior party leaders last night to discuss the strategy to ensure NCP`s growth in Mumbai. Currently, it has only three MLAs from Mumbai.
"Out of the 12 MNS MLAs, six are from Mumbai. Three of them were elected defeating NCP candidates," sources said.
According to sources, NCP will concentrate on building its base in these 12 assembly constituencies in Mumbai. "We will organise Ajitdada`s rallies in these MNS pocket boroughs which will witness massive turnouts," sources claimed.
When NCP leaders present at last night`s meeting asked Ajit Pawar to respond to Raj Thackeray politically, he accepted the challenge.
"Our aim is to keep Raj Thackeray in check," sources said, adding that many NCP leaders at the meeting criticised the Maharashtra home ministry headed by R R Patil for turning a blind eye to the MNS chief`s provocative speeches.