Special Correspondent

NCP to go it alone in the coming Assembly polls in Punjab, Manipur and Uttarakhand

Puducherry: National committee general secretary of the Nationalist Congress party (NCP) T.P. Peethambaran Master said that the party was committed to emerging as a national alternative to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP).

Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Peethambaran Master said that the NCP was keen that the "communal outfits" such as the BJP and the Shiv Sena or the National Democratic Alliance should not gain grounds.

The NCP was, therefore, joining hands with the Congress. However, the party would go it alone in the coming Assembly polls in Punjab, Manipur and Uttarakhand. The NCP would field its candidates in 15 constituencies in Punjab, while it would seek election from 20 seats in Uttaranchal and 40 seats in Manipur.

Claiming that the NCP had made rapid strides ever since it came into existence, he said the party was a big organisation in States like Maharashtra.

Calling upon the Government of Maharashtra to tone up cooperative societies to address the sufferings of farmers there, he said that Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had been evolving several important and pro-farmer projects. The Union Finance Ministry should, however, sanction adequate funds for implementation of the schemes to the State Governments. The rate of interest levied on farm loans should be very minimal. The State Governments should also ensure remunerative prices and amenities to them without delay. The NCP leader said that the Puducherry Government should also address the issues of farmers on priority.

The president of the Tamil Nadu unit of NCP G.P. Sarathy said that the Government should protect fertile farmlands here, as there had been indiscriminate conversion of the agricultural lands into residential plots and industrial zones. Each of unemployed youth here should be sanctioned a monthly assistance of Rs.1,000.

There was no direct train service between Puducherry and Mahe and vice versa. The Railway Ministry and Puducherry Government were only taking the passengers for a ride by making unjustified claims, he noted. The president of Puducherry unit of the NCP, G. Sundaramoorthy, and its convener in Mahe K. Asokan were also present.