The party’s best tally for Assembly seats in the city was three in 2009.
Mumbai: The election of Sachin Ahir as the Nationalist Congress Party’s Mumbai president has put an end to the speculation about him joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It was being said that he would join the BJP ahead of the Legislative Council elections and would get a chance to contest the elections. Meanwhile, Mr Ahir faces the unenviable task of arresting the NCP’s decline in the city while making it rise above factional squabbles.
After NCP’s Niranjan Davkhare joined BJP ahead of the graduate Council constituency elections, there was buzz about another three to four young leaders of the party defecting to the BJP. NCP MLC Narendra Patil whose term ends this July has already dropped enough hints about joining the BJP. However, among all such names, Mr Ahir’s was the most prominent.
A senior leader and former minister of the party said, “Election to the post of Mumbai NCP chief was put on hold for nearly two months as there was no clarification from Mr Ahir’s side. BJP had been luring him with a MLC post. But it seems that Mr Ahir is staying back in the party and so, he has been given the charge of Mumbai, again.”
With elections a year away, Mr Ahir is tasked with turning around the party’s fortunes in Mumbai. The party’s best tally for Assembly seats in the city was three in 2009.
NCP has always played second fiddle to the Congress in Mumbai. This time, the party is trying to forge a wider alliance of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party and a few Republican groups along with the Congress. In this pre-poll alliance, NCP's role in the city will be minor even compared to the SP. So, it will be a major challenge for Mr Ahir to concentrate on a few seats and see that the party wins those.