Debating India

REGIONAL ELECTIONS 2005

Congress should change its approach: Pawar

Monday 10 January 2005

MUMBAI: The NCP would be forced to contest the coming Assembly elections in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana alone unless the Congress changes its approach towards alliance partners, party chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday.

"It is most unfortunate that Congress has taken a decision of contesting the Jharkand elections in alliance with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) without consulting the RJD, CPI, CPM and NCP — all alliance partners in the UPA government," Pawar told reporters in Mumbai.

If the Congress does not change its approach towards its alliance partners in the UPA government, NCP would have no other choice than to contest the coming Assembly elections sans the former, he added.

He was reacting to electoral understanding reached by Congress and JMM on January 7 for next month’s Assembly polls in Jharkhand, in which JMM would contest 35 seats and Congress 33.

The NCP chief, who is also the Union Agriculture Minister, said Congress has only 145 members out of 543 in Lok Sabha while the UPA has more than 300 members.

"So I hope that the Sonia Gandhi-led party will realise that 50 per cent of the alliance members are those other than from Congress, supporting the UPA government."

He also expressed confidence that the issue will be resolved and all the alliance partners will continue to support the Congress to defeat the BJP-led alliance in the forthcoming state elections.

See online : Times of India

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