NCP to now focus on Mumbai, Thane

Appeal for consolidation: NCP chief Sharad Pawar at a meeting in Mumbai on Sunday.

Appeal for consolidation: NCP chief Sharad Pawar at a meeting in Mumbai on Sunday.  


Pawar urges defeated leaders to work for party’s growth, stresses on getting votes of Dalits, Navbauddhas

After being the first to reach out to farmers suffering from excessive rains and crop losses, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Sunday stressed upon the need to ensure the party’s growth in urban areas, specifically Mumbai and Thane.

“Our performance in Mumbai and Thane is a matter of concern. We could win only one seat in Mumbai and two in the entire Thane district. We have to ponder upon the reasons as to why we are not winning seats here and also focus more on these areas. There was once a time when Thane district was our stronghold and we were controlling many of the municipal corporations,” Mr. Pawar said at a meeting of the party’s defeated candidates in the Assembly polls.

“The party will stand with you strongly. But you have to come forward and prove that you are ready to grow the party in this area,” Mr. Pawar told his party leaders.

NCP to now focus on Mumbai, Thane

Referring to the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) for the first time, the NCP chief said the party did not pay attention to the Dalits and Navbauddhas who voted for the VBA. “We have to ensure that this class comes back to us in future.”

According to the election results, the VBA has damaged the Congress and NCP prospects in around 23 Assembly seats.

Of the 36 seats in Mumbai, the NCP contested six. It could win only one, in the form of party’s Mumbai president Nawab Malik from Anushaktinagar. In 2014, the party could not win a single seat in Mumbai. In 2009, the party contested seven seats and won three, its best performance ever. Even in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections of 2017, the party could not cross double digit. It won nine corporation seats, compared to seven in 2012 and 13 in 2007.

Prior to the elections, party’s Mumbai president Sachin Ahir left the NCP to join the Shiv Sena. Mr. Ahir, the former Minister of State, represented the Worli Assembly constituency from 2009 to 2014. Mr. Malik was appointed as the party’s Mumbai chief and after being elected as the MLA he had swung into action.

“Our priority in Mumbai is to increase our numbers. We forced the MMRDA to open the Chunabhatti flyover for public use in the first week. We will aggressively rake up the issues related to people as directed by Pawarji,” Mr. Malik said.

Of the 18 seats in Thane district, the party contested seven and won only two. Jitendra Awhad from Mumbra-Kalwa and Daulat Daroda from Shahapur (ST) won, while the party suffered losses in its previous strongholds such as Airoli and Belapur in Navi Mumbai. It could not retain the Ulhasnagar seat which it had won in 2014.

The party suffered a major jolt in Navi Mumbai after its powerful leader Ganesh Naik quit before the elections to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He won the elections from Airoli. Interestingly, BJP MLA Manda Mhatre from Belapur is also a former NCP MLC.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 2:51:30 PM |

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