The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will field some its senior leaders and ministers for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to increase its tally in the lower house of Parliament.
Speaking to The Hindu, the NCP Maharashtra state president Bhaskar Jadhav said some senior party leaders including the PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal will contest the Lok Sabha elections due early next year.
“Chhagan Bhujbal is a senior leader of our party and he has expressed his willingness to work in Delhi after working in the state for more than 35 years. The party thinks that some other senior leaders and ministers should also go to Loksabha” said Mr. Jadhav.
However, he refused to specify the names of the senior ministers and leaders who wish to go to Delhi, saying “only the party Chief Sharad Pawar will decide and declare their names”.
“It’s not that only party wants them to contest the Lok Sabha elections but these leaders have also expressed the willingness to contest Lok Sabha polls” claimed the NCP leader.
Denying the “rumour” that the Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar wants Mr. Bhujbal to go to Delhi so that he can have a free hand in the state politics, Mr. Jadhav said, “Ajit Pawar has himself said that if Saheb (Sharad Pawar) tells him to contest for Lok Sabha then even he will contest it. He has already spent 15 years in state politics as a minister”.
When asked about the reason behind fielding senior leaders for the Lok Sabha, Mr. Jadhav said, “Increasing the tally in Lok Sabha is one of the reason and if the seniors go to Delhi then the next rung of leadership in the party will get a chance in state politics”.
Reacting to “the differences” with the alliance partner Congress in the state and the center, Mr. Jadhav said the NCP believed that both the parties had no other option than contesting the polls together.
“After delimitation, the size of the constituencies has increased. The candidates should be declared in advance so as to give them ample time to connect with the people of their constituencies. The NCP is of the view that the seat sharing arrangement should be done at the earliest but there is no response from the Congress Party” claimed the NCP leader who has also served as a minister in Maharashtra government.
On the perception that the NCP is not "very happy" with the working style of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the repeated attacks on the CM by his party, Mr. Jadhav said, “The NCP is not unhappy with any individual. But we feel that the decisions should be taken in a way so that a common man thinks that the government is for him. The decisions should be taken quickly and implemented properly and in quick time by the administration. An efficient administration is the need of the hours”.