Mumbai: NCP president Sharad Pawar today scotched demands being raised in some sections in his party that he be the chief ministerial candidate in upcoming Assembly elections and said that NCP will go to polls with a collective leadership.
Pawar also expressed confidence that the Congress-NCP alliance will romp home to victory in elections which are due later this year as BJP lacked a mass leader in Maharashtra.
"Don`t try to create something out of nothing. NCP will go to the assembly elections with a collective leadership. Elected MLAs will decide their leader," Pawar said while addressing a NCP meeting here to celebrate the party`s 15th anniversary.
Demands are made from certain quarters in NCP that the Maratha strongman should declare himself as chief ministerial candidate as Shiv Sena and MNS have already done.
"...I am doing well for myself in spending time out of power. There are a lot of things to do..Read and travel and see for myself if government schemes reached the people," Pawar said.
He said that people of Maharashtra were well aware that only Congress-NCP could rule them and would not let such situation to develop wherein the saffron alliance is voted to power.
"In 1999, Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was voted to power in Delhi while in Maharashtra the Congress and NCP contested the Assembly polls separately. However, people entrusted the reins of the State to us and not to BJP-led alliance," Pawar said.
He said that people voted for Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections but in Maharashtra the BJP has no leader, especially after death of Gopinath Munde.
"Gopinath Munde, who died last week, could have got a chance (to be CM) but he is no more. Even his party leaders have openly said that Munde did not get his due in BJP," Pawar said.
"Even in Assembly by-elections in Maharashtra and Gujarat, people voted for Congress though the verdict went in BJP`s favour in Lok Sabha elections," the former Agriculture Minister said.
Pawar asked the party leaders and ministers to pull up their socks and get their act together to face the Assembly elections.
"The issues of power shortages, Local Body Tax, proper implementation of the Food Security Act, OBC scholarships, demands being made by Lingayat and Dhangar communities, reservation in jobs and education to Marathas and Muslims have to be addressed to urgently," he said.
Pawar asked the party leaders to learn lessons from the Lok Sabha elections in which NCP secured only four seats in Maharashtra.
"If you don`t correct yourself, people will correct you. They have already done so in Lok Sabha polls," Pawar said. He asked the state party leaders to ensure development with a human face. "Don`t lose communication with people," Pawar added.
On the occasion, the NCP launched its campaign material for the elections which include a song penned by journalist Sanjiv Latkar.
The song with the catch-line "Takat Maharashtrachi ...Pratyek manasachi" is sung by noted composer Avdhut Gupte, and Vaishali Samant.