Cong-NCP 'bout', more of a turf war for 2014 polls
Amid visible fissures between the two key constituents of the ruling Democratic Front (DF) alliance in Maharashtra, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) seems to be in a mood to arm-twist its big-brother partner Congress on the issue of sharing of “power turf” for the upcoming 2014 state and national elections.
The hyped-up bitter exchange between the two parties, finding expression, in platitude of news reports, last week, is seen as a deftly managed media-spin by the wily old fox of Maharashtra politics and NCP leader-Sharad Pawar. In 2014 along with general elections, the state will also witness Assembly polls; and it seems like Pawar is eyeing a bigger chunk of power and role for the NCP in the power struggle that will ensue then.
The NCP despite being a force to reckon within the state has been playing second fiddle to the Congress when it comes to power. Moreover, the NCP itself is riven with internal fissures with several of its leaders eyeing the chief minister’s chair.
The septuagenarian minister, knows that the 2014 polls may well be his swan song, in active politics; and this desperation to firmly establish his daughter as well as his nephew in the top rungs of state politics is driving him in chalking out strategies primarily aimed to corner the Congress party.
Local self-government elections held in January this year proved that NCP’s power-roots are deeply entrenched in state’s powerful interior ruling “class-caste” combine.
However, in April, the Congress bounded back into the arena by winning the local body elections in Marathwada. It was a jolt to the NCP which was confidently riding a high-horse since February-after it managed to leave its alliance Congress far behind in local body polls held in western Maharashtra and emerging mega towns.