Maha Cong discusses going it alone in local body polls

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Mumbai, Apr 7: Senior leaders of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) have discussed ways to strengthen the party in the state, with some suggesting going it alone in the Zilla Parishad, Municipal Council and Corporation elections.

An option of letting district units to decide whether to have pre-poll alliances with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP with whom it shares power in state government, was also discussed at a meeting of state Congress leaders here last evening.

Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and former CM Ashok Chavan were among those present at the meeting, held at the Y B Chavan Centre.

The MPCC has decided to launch a year-long mass contact programme in the 35 districts to reconnect with the masses and to woo youth and women, ahead of local body polls in the state, including election to the prestigious Mumbai municipal corporation next year.

All-India Congress Committee General Secretary Mohan Prakash who addressed the meeting, said the party''s support base in the state should be strengthened and asked party workers to help restore the dominance of Congress in the state.

"We have to make concerted attempts to connect to the people across sections," he said.

A resolution thanking party chief Sonia Gandhi on the issue of 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies was adopted at the meeting.

MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre said the alliance with NCP in the state was out of compulsion but now there was a need to change the picture to ensure Congress regains days of dominance in the state.

Once there were 200-plus MLAs of Congress in the 288-member Assembly, Thakre said. Now there are just 82, he added.

PTI

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