Undeterred by Monday’s defeat in the Khadakwasla byelection, Nationalist Congress Party MP from Baramati, Supriya Sule, who is daughter of union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, said the party would introspect and work to consolidate its position. Excerpts from an interview with Sanjay Jog:
Was the NCP’s defeat a shock, especially when your party was quite confident to win Kahdakwasla byelection?
First of all, I must say I as the MP of the parliamentary constituency accept the defeat with full humility. We as the party will definitely carry out a booth-wise study to find out the reasons for Monday’s defeat. During the 2009 assembly elections, our party candidate was defeated by 35,000 votes. On Monday, that has come down to 3,635 votes. Still, it is a defeat and a warning for the party.
What has led to the party’s defeat?
As I said, this will be examined thoroughly. I will be able to tell you later. But one thing is clear: every dark cloud has a silver lining.
After the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, critics had written off the NCP, but the party came second in the assembly elections that followed.
We will introspect and do everything possible to improve the NCP’s presence in Pune district in particular and in the state in general.
It seems the Congress was disappointed with the NCP’s decision to give ticket to its member who is the wife of late Ramesh Wanjale. I want to sincerely thank our ally, the Congress, to have extended wholeheated support our candidate and worked hard for Harshada Wanjale.
But the NCP was divided as ticket aspirants and disgruntled elements worked against the party nominee or kept themselves away from the camaigning.
Will Monday’s defeat impact the NCP’s prospects in the upcoming elections to the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations and zilla parishad?
I don’t think so. Every election is different and cannot be compared. The party will step up efforts for the coming elections. A defeat in one byelection cannot decide the fate of NCP in the coming elections or that of the Congress-NCP government in general.