Anokgiri, Meghalaya, Feb 20: Politics won over cricket today for NCP supremo Sharad Pawar when the BCCI boss flew down to remote Garo Hills of Meghalaya to campaign for the Assembly election even as players' bidding for IPL began in Mumbai.
The Union agriculture minister is touring Tura constituency in the state, the home turf of Mr PA Sangma, who is the party's chief ministerial candidate, and other nearby constituencies. Election to the 60-member Assembly will be held on March five.
Addressing the first election rally at Anokgiri, Mr Pawar slammed the ruling Congress in the state for allegedly depriving the people of the benefits of Central funds.
Exhorting the people to vote for NCP, he said, ''Bring Mr Sangma to power, he is an important person for the state's development and arguably the most recognized politician of Meghalaya.'' The Union minister is scheduled to address four more election rallies in the area during the day.
Mr Sangma, a former Lok Sabha speaker who returned to state politics with the coming election, accompanied Mr Pawar and also addressed the rally.
Mr Pawar's decision to skip the BCCI-backed Indian Premier League (IPL) players' bidding today at Mumbai in favour of Meghalaya clearly indicates the NCP's focus in gaining power in this NE state.
The party is banking on Mr Sangma's mass appeal in the state and has focused with all might. It is contesting in 49 of the total 60 seats in the state Assembly.