Vadodara (Gujarat): Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday put his party on high alert for a possible early Lok Sabha election.
“All parties must always remain ready for elections. Our workers must be prepared for any eventuality, even snap mid-term polls and face the electorate,” Pawar said, which addressing the NCP one-day national convention in this Gujarat city.
His comment came almost simultaneously with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati who also asked her party in New Delhi today to be “prepare for an early general election”.
Pawar also announced that NCP would align with the Congress to fight the ensuing Gujarat assembly elections, hoping to repeat the feat of Maharashtra where the two parties have contested and won three assembly elections consecutively.
“However, we want a decent share of the seats. Last time, we had contested eight seats (and bagged three in the 182-member house), but this time we shall ask for more. NCP will take it up with the Congress leadership,” he said.
Gujarat NCP chief Jayant Patel said that the NCP convention in the state would help the party emerge as a strong contender in the forthcoming elections.
“Our aim is to increase the party’s strength from the present three members. People want a change and we shall play a role by defeating the (ruling Bharatiya Janata Party) BJP,” he said.
Polling in Gujarat will be held Dec 13 and 17. Counting of votes is scheduled for Dec 20.
Earlier, Pawar was elected unopposed as NCP chief for the fifth time in a row since the party’s formation in 1999.
Top NCP leaders, including Pawar, Praful Patel, Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule and others were present at the convention.
Pawar’s nephew and former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar was however conspicuous by his absence from the convention.
However, Patel sought to scotch all speculation by clarifying Ajit Pawar could not attend as he was indisposed.