NCP blames UPA rout on Manmohan, Sonia`s `failure` to connect with masses

NCP on Thursday attributed the drubbing the Congress-led UPA has received in polls mainly to the "communication deficit" on part of outgoing prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and also to issues like hike in prices of fuel and LPG cylinders by the ruling dispensation.

Mumbai: The NCP on Thursday attributed the drubbing the Congress-led UPA has received in polls mainly to the "communication deficit" on part of outgoing prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and also to issues like hike in prices of fuel and LPG cylinders by the ruling dispensation.

Addressing a press conference, party spokesman Nawab Malik said, "While BJP leaders aggressively spoke in Hindi against the government`s policies and hence connected with the maximum number of people, the response from prime minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and finance minister P Chidambaram was in English, which is one of the reasons for the defeat (in polls)."

"The UPA government also could not convey to people its decisions taken in national interest despite the economic slowdown," he told reporters at a press conference after NCP chief Sharad Pawar convened a meeting to take stock of the political situation and plan preparations for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Malik said the reasons behind UPA`s poll debacle were deliberated upon at the meeting attended by state ministers and senior leaders including Praful Patel, Govindrao Adik, Arun Gujarati, Babanrao Pachpute among others.

"We did not seek resignations or indulge in blame game. The responsibility of the poll defeat is of the entire party," he said while responding to a query.

Pawar will tomorrow meet party legislators, nominees who contested elections, district unit chiefs, office-bearers to review the election results and prepare for Assembly polls.

"Pawar had exhorted the ministers to rectify mistakes and begin on a fresh note for the Assembly polls," Malik added.

Recently, senior Congress leader Kamal Nath had also faulted Singh for being uncommunicative.
When asked about Congress leader Digvijay Singh`s remarks that leaders like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee who were once part of Congress should merge into the parent party, Malik said that was not possible.

"Even though our ideologies are same, we (NCP) are a separate political organisation and will remain so," he added.

To a query whether senior leader Praful Patel will be relocated to Rajya Sabha as the seat from NCP quota is falling vacant after party leader Tariq Anwar`s election to Lok Sabha, Malik said the decision will be taken once the election schedule is announced.

Patel lost to his BJP rival on the home turf Bhandara-Gondia seat in Maharashtra.

Malik also said that its seat-sharing ratio with alliance partner Congress in Maharashtra, where elections are expected to take place in October, will not change.

He informed reporters that NCP has organised a public meeting in Mumbai next month to mark the 16th Foundation Day of the party.

Though the Day falls on June 10, NCP is likely to hold the meeting either on June 8 or June 9 because the legislature session will be in progress in the state during the weekdays.

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