NCP leader Praful Patel today said his party is not “very keen” on any pre-poll tie-up with the Congress for the Gujarat assembly polls and is rather trying to emerge as the third option. “We may or may not enter into such pact with the Congress. Our focus now is to emerge as the third option in Gujarat. We are planning for not just 2017 polls, but beyond that too,” said Nationalist Congress Party leader Patel on the prospect of his party’s alliance with the Congress.
To strengthen the party ahead of the assembly polls, expected to be held in November this year, NCP chief Sharad Pawar would visit the state on March 19, said Patel, a Rajya Sabha MP and former Union minister.
NCP which entered into a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in 2012, is presently having two MLAs in the state assembly – Kandhal Jadeja and Jayant Patel.
Patel, who is the party in-charge for Gujarat, also hinted that some Congress leaders are are keen to join the NCP in Gujarat.
“The decision about alliance this time will be taken around two months ahead of polls. The picture will be clear only during July or August. Though we are in touch with some other parties, such as JD(U), for alliance, we will never have an agreement with AAP here,” said Patel.
“Pawar will be in Ahmedabad on March 19 to inaugurate NCP’s new state office. He will also attend a gathering of all the key leaders and members of the Gujarat NCP that day. Our focus for this poll is to contest maximum number of seats,” he added.