Pawar rules out NCP merging with Cong

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Shillong, Feb 22 (UNI) Union Agriculture Minister and NCP Chief Sharad Pawar today ruled out any pact with the Congress for the March 3 Assembly elections.

''The NCP and the Congress would not merge. We have built our party and marched ahead to strengthen it,'' NCP's founding member said.

The NCP is an ally of the Congress-led UPA government at the centre and other states, but not in Meghalaya.

The NCP chief, who kicked-off his series of election rallies in various parts of the state, hit out at the Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government for the 'poor' development in the state.

The Union Minister was also critical of Chief Minister DD Lapang, who he claimed, did not take up any welfare programmes for the farmers.

''The plight of farmers in Meghalaya is deplorable,'' Mr Pawar added.

On NCP's poll prospect, Pawar said his party was confident of bagging more seats in this election.

''In the last election, we got support in certain areas. This time, however, I can see the change in favour of our party and our effort is to get more seats,'' he said.

He added that with PA Sangma's return to state politics, NCP's chances have brightened in this election.

''His (Sangma) presence in state politics is very much required for a stable government,'' the Union minister claimed.

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