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NCP reply to Janata Durbar: weekly parade of ministers

In an attempt to score over the Congress and emerge at least as the single-largest party if not the one with a clear majority

Written by Rakshit Sonawane | Mumbai |
July 17, 2011 1:53:14 am

In an attempt to score over the Congress and emerge at least as the single-largest party if not the one with a clear majority,the NCP will parade all its 20 ministers every week for hearing grievances of party workers and members of the public.

The NCP’s plan is to take on the ‘Janata Darbar’ started by the Congress,which organises public interaction of two of its ministers every week.

A senior NCP leader said the details of the party’s exercise were being worked out and it would be an extension of the weekly interaction of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar with party workers and the public. Pawar has started the reach-out programme every Thursday on July 7.

He said Pawar had started the interaction against the backdrop of both the parties—Congress and NCP— preparing to go solo in the ensuing local body polls due across the state within six months. He said Pawar had started taking more interest in organisational matters and in the recent past,had made changes in district-level appointments in several districts such as Jalgaon,Buldhana,Amravati and Parbhani. He is also in the process of initiating changes in Washim and Aurangabad districts. Pawar’s decision came after a large chunk of party cadres complained that ministers had become inaccessible.

“Since all ministers come to Mantralaya to attend weekly Cabinet meetings,our idea is to organise their interaction in batches on Tuesdays,Wednesdays and Thursdays. since most of them arrive in Mumbai a day earlier for the Cabinet meeting they would be available on Tuesdays also,” he said. “The tentative idea is to make batches of five ministers each and organise interaction of two batches on Tuesdays,one batch on Wednesdays and one on Thursdays.”

He said it would send a good message among the public in general and the party cadre in particular. “With Ajitdada Pawar himself taking lead,it is bound to yield good results,” he said.

Incidentally,the council of ministers headed by Prithviraj Chavan has 43 ministers,with Congress having 23 berths (including the Chief Minister’s post) and the NCP,20 berths. The NCP has filled its quota of 20 ministers,but the Congress has appointed 20 and kept three berths vacant.

The Congress and the NCP,although allies,are vying with each other to establish supremacy in the State. The NCP has set itself a target of winning at least 50 Lok Sabha seats in the country and emerge at least the single-largest party,if not the one with clear majority,in the 2014 polls to make Ajit Pawar as the Chief Minister. The NCP has already decided to focus on constituencies it lost in the 2009 polls and is pooling resources,including funds available with Rajya Sabha members and MLCs,to nurture them.

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