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NCP convention calls for the coming together of like-minded forces

Written by: Staff

Dehra Dun, Sep 17 (UNI) The third National Convention of the Nationalist Congress Party ended here today with a call to secular, democratic and progressive forces to join hands to stop the communal forces from gaining ground and to fulfill the aspirations of the people for a better social order free from unemployment, poverty and starvation.

The NDA, especially the BJP is facing a very serious crisis but they are making an all out attempt of staging a come back. At the same time the Congress with their capitalistic policies and their open internal bickerings are fast losing ground, the NCP Convention said.

The Convention, which was attended by about 5000 party workers from all over the country, urged the national leadership of the party to intensify its efforts to bring about better understanding and coordination among like-minded parties.

However, at the same time, party president Sharad Pawar ruled out the possibility of emergence of a Third Front, saying the UPA and the NDA would continue to be there at the national level. He further said he could not predict what would happen after 2009 as he was not an ''astrologer''.

Mr Pawar also ruled out the possibility of merger of the NCP with the Congress, saying the party had been contesting elections in alliance with the Congress. He also dismissed the foreign origin issue of Congress president Sonia Gandhi as ''non-issue''.

The convention expressed its dismay at the NCP being accused for some decisions taken by the UPA Government, ''decisions which did not conform to NCP party line.'' It called upon the party workers to clearly explain the party's stand to the public on such matters.

It also noted with concern the fact that some UPA coalition partners indulged in blame game, directly or indirectly, casting aspersions on the Ministries handled by party leader. ''Sometimes it created confusion among the people as well as party cadre who were carried away by media reports,'' it noted.

The party disapproved of the way the Congress had been ''ignoring'' its demand for inclusion of all UPA allies in the UPA-Left Coordination Committee. Mr Pawar claimed that the NCP was the first party which openly demanded a UPA-Left Coordination Committee.

Mr Pawar, who was re-elected party president, assumed charge in the convention, which also announced new office bearers and members of the Working Committee.

Mr Pawar indicated the possibility of the merger of senior Kerala leader K Karunakaran's party in Kerala with the NCP, but added a final decision in this regard will be taken after consultations with Left Democratic Front, of which the NCP was a constituent.

Mr Pawar asserted that electoral alliances for the coming assembly elections in four states will be forged only after consultations with the state units.

The NCP President, also the Union Agriculture Minister, said he would see to it that the fund allocations for the agriculture sector were substantially increased in the 11th Plan.

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