New Delhi, Oct 24: Despite the debacle - between the two opposition parties - the NCP seemed to be putting up a better show than the Congress party in Maharashtra assembly polls.
According to trends available so far, NCP led by former Chief Minister Sharad Pawar has established leads in 38 assembly constituencies as against 30 by Congress. According to NCP sources, in the fiercely contested polls this year, Mr Pawar, often called Maratha strongman, addressed as many as 60 meetings spread across 21 districts, certainly much more than mere 24 in 2014 assembly polls.
Speaking politically, the NCP stalwart and his family faced major challenge this time as in the run-up to the 2019 polls, several of his lieutenants switched loyalties to the BJP or Shiv Sena. There were also corruption charges against him and his nephew Ajit Pawar.
Nevertheless as the trends show, he seemed to have maintained his hold in some of the constituencies though the arch rivals BJP and Shiv Sena were far ahead. It is also being presumed that, Shiv Sena would face the maximum brunt if NCP is able to hold onto their ground.
In the run to the polls this year, senior Congress leaders at times had even suggested that NCP will be forced to merge and return to its parent Congress party fold. But the trends so far suggest, the principal opposition party in the country is not able to do better than its alliance partner.(UNI)