Don’t get depressed due to LS drubbing, strive for Assembly polls success, Ajit Pawar tells NCP workers

Mumbai, June 11 (IANS) In wake of the dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections, Nationalist Congress Party President Ajit Pawar on Monday asked his party workers not to get depressed but to strive with full strength for success in the Maharashtra Assembly elections slated for September-October this year.

In his address at the function organised on the occasion of the party’s 25th anniversary, he declared that even though the NCP is a key member of the NDA, it will not compromise or leave its “Shiv Phule Shahu and Ambedkar ideology” and has told this to the leaders of MahaYuti and NDA.

Pawar also scoffed at the rumours that some party legislators would switch sides to NCP-SP led by his uncle Sharad Pawar.

He also targeted the opposition for setting the narrative that the Constitution will be changed if the BJP returns to power. “Even though it was repeatedly clarified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other NDA leaders, including us, that no one can change the constitution of Babasaheb Ambedkar, the opponents struck to its narrative which impacted poll prospects of MahaYuti in the state,” he maintained. The NCP chief, however, added that this narrative won’t work in the Assembly elections as his party would increase the outreach with the Dalits, Muslims, tribals and OBCs in the run-up to the polls by taking up a slew of initiatives – some implemented and others lined up during upcoming budget.

On the party’s drubbing where NCP won only one of the four seats it fought, Pawar said the entire responsibility was his. He hailed the work done by the party leaders and workers for the party candidates, and also the MahaYuti nominees.

“One need not get depressed due to defeat while becoming arrogant after the victory,” he told the gathering.

On the party refusing to accept the post of a Minister of State (Independent Charge) in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third government, Pawar said that it was a conscious decision taken unanimously as the party had recommended the name of its Working President Praful Patel, who had been a Cabinet Minister earlier. “Despite this, some people spread misinformation about interrelated differences. The situation was totally different. We have decided to remain with the NDA and wait for expansion as the party will soon get two Rajya Sabha seats,” he said.

In his speech, Pawar, who broke ranks with his uncle and NCP founder Sharad Pawar in July last year, became emotional and recalled the latter’s contribution to the party’s formation in June 1999. “I express my gratitude, even if I am now a part of MahaYuti,” he said. “Everyone worked shoulder to shoulder and brought this party forward. Some leaders are not among us. Sharad Pawar has also done a great job in establishing the party. I express my gratitude to him,” he added.

Meanwhile, senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal reiterated that the MahaYuti partners should quickly settle the seat-sharing arrangement for the Assembly elections. “The BJP is a big brother, it is accepted. But the NCP should get as many seats as the Shiv Sena gets,” he noted, adding that in the recent party meeting, he had said that the NCP should get 80 to 90 seats.



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