LS polls: NCP hints at going it alone

Senior NCP leader Praful Patel on Sunday signalled that the party might contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls independently. Speaking in the presence of party supremo Sharad Pawar, Patel said: "If they (Congress) continue with the ill-treatment that is being meted out to the NCP, we will have to think about contesting the polls independently."

For the last few months, the party, particularly former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal, had come under fire from prominent Congress leaders due to corruption charges pertaining to the alleged irrigation scam, Maharashtra Sadan scam and Gharkul scam.

On Saturday, party president Sharad Pawar, too, had conveyed similar sentiments to party workers. He had exhorted his partymen to work towards the 2014 national and state elections without bothering about criticism.

Speaking at the meeting on Sunday, Sharad Pawar urged the political fraternity not to indulge in politics over water. He stressed that drinking water should be allotted to different districts as per their needs.

"As a party, the NCP has never indulged in petty politics over water. We believe that water should be given as per the need and districts should not fight with each other over it. I am sure no NCP worker would take a stand against releasing water to a region in its need. At the same time, one should be careful that if water has been released for drinking purpose, it should not be used for agriculture and other usage," said Pawar.

He said different communities living in the state had contributed to its progress.

"Maharashtra is a multicultural and multilingual state. In Mumbai, communities speaking different languages have been living for ages. Only 27 per cent of the total population of the city is Marathi speaking. Other communities have lived there peacefully and contributed for the progress of the state," said Pawar.

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