NCP in disarray as Goa chief quits

Identified as the face of the NCP here, De Souza’s departure leaves Sharad Pawar’s party rudderless in Goa and may well trigger an exodus of NCP members to the Congress in the post-poll scenario. Twenty-seven out of 35 executive members have also walked out in support of De Souza’s move. 

The NCP which has an alliance with the Congress in Goa has three MLAs in the Assembly with two ministers in the coalition government. But the latest crisis in the party is unlikely to shake the government. The NCP MLAs have distanced themselves from the dissident faction and are not likely  to rock the Congress boat in the changed political situation.

Though the dissident group remained ambivalent about its immediate political plans, saying it was weighing its options, De Souza made clear that the NCP’s diminished fortunes had much to do with his decision to ditch Pawar. He said the 2009 election proved the NCP had become redundant. “It should merge with the Congress and die a natural death,” he said, adding that P A Sangma too held similar views.

The De Souza faction is known to have been smarting after a series of snubs by Pawar who was planning on a leadership change in Goa. The NCP is expected to go through a total overhaul of its organisational wing after its national executive meet in Delhi next week, sources said.

The friction within the NCP was apparent when executive committee members stayed away from Pawar’s Goa election campaign.

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