Pawar confident Congress will again rise from the ashes

Mumbai, Jan 5: In a relief for the Congress, its ally and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar Sunday expressed hope that despite recent political developments in the country, the party (Congress) will again rise from the ashes.

“Indira Gandhi brought the party back to power from ashes in two years after being wiped out in 1977. There is no need to worry … Just go to the people with confidence and always remember the masses respect and vote for leaders who take decisions,” Pawar said, addressing a two-day meeting of NCP workers as a pre-poll preparation to the 2014 general elections.

Pawar, also union Agriculture Minister, dropped ample hints that the NCP-Congress partnership, which has gone through a hot-and-cold phase in recent times, will continue in the Lok Sabha elections as in the past.

“The recent outcome of the assembly elections will not dent the Congress-NCP alliance. Maharashtra is a totally different state with a different psyche and what happens elsewhere in the country does not mean it will be reflected in this state,” he pointed out.

The NCP chief referred to the recent local bodies’ elections in various parts of the state where the alliance performed well though these were held after the November-December 2013 assembly elections in five states.

Elaborating, Pawar said he was not surprised at the outcome as anti-incumbency would not affect (Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled) Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

But the dismal showing (for the Congress) in Rajasthan and Delhi was mainly due to poor performance, though there were other factors which combined to produce the overall disastrous result for the incumbents.

Referring to the media-hype surrounding Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi before the assembly elections in five states, Pawar commented that “it now lies faded in some corner”.

He reiterated his decision not to contest the Lok Sabha elections, saying he would focus on building the party but would have no problems going to the Rajya Sabha.

IANS