NCP chief Sharad Pawar Thursday heard views of party leaders and functionaries from districts in Maharashtra's Konkan region, including Mumbai and Thane, on the Assembly seats it can contest in the ensuing polls. In the district-wise meeting held here, sources said, workers voiced their views on Assembly segments the NCP could field candidates in for the election the party will contest in alliance with like-minded parties.
Some of the functionaries also made a presentation to the NCP chief to suggest about contesting seats the party had previously not fought from, they said. The sources said the NCP is aiming to secure 144 of the total 288 Assembly seats in the state under its quota. The party may share some of the seats from its quota with its allies.
"The figures from the latest Lok Sabha and previous Assembly elections are there before us. Pawar Saheb gauged which seats the party can contest in the Mumbai, Raigad, Thane and other districts from the region," a source said.
The source said the NCP already has a fair idea of its candidates who have the potential to win the election. "We already have 41 MLAs. There are around 18-20 of our candidates who had lost the previous election by a margin of 5,000 votes of less than that. "So, we have at least 60-65 winnable candidates. Efforts will be made to win more seats than that," the sources added.
According to another party insider, who did not wish to be named, some workers from Mumbai suggested that the party should contest 18 of the 36 Assembly seats in the metropolis.
The NCP, which had fought the 2014 state polls alone, had fielded 34 candidates in Mumbai five years ago. "Pawar Saheb gave the workers a patient hearing. Saheb told workers he had heard them out and will again sit with leaders before taking further steps," the leader said.
The leader added that the party would assess the situation based on facts before deciding which seats it can contest. When asked, Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil said Pawar will hold district-wise meetings with workers from different regions on Friday and Saturday. Next week, Pawar will meet workers on June 21 and June 23.
"Pawar Saheb himself is discussing the strategy for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls with the workers," Patil told reporters. The NCP, which fought the 2014 Assembly polls independently after severing 15-year-old ties with the Congress, had fielded candidates in 278 segments and won 41.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)