The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will get a covert new partner in the NCP, which is likely to contest the Gujarat Assembly elections with the BJP’s tacit support, political sources in Gujarat have said. The NCP had earlier tied up with the Janata Dal United in Gujarat and was working out modalities to contest at least 50 seats in the state. The NCP is now likely to follow in the footsteps of the JDU, which has joined the NDA.

Gujarat-based NCP leaders said that it was very clear that the NCP was not going to gain anything by staying in the Congress led UPA. “Our workers are de-motivated and are asking us what is the point of staying in the UPA? We hope to do well in Gujarat by being a part of the larger NDA coalition, which is expected to win the state again,” a party official said. In the 2012 Assembly elections, the NCP had contested 12 of the state’s 182 seats and won two, bagging a vote share of 0.95%.  The JDU contested 65 seats and won one, with a 0.67% vote percentage.

NCP sources said that with the exit of Shankar Sinh Vaghela from the Congress, the Congress was in a dire straits and the results of the Gujarat elections were a foregone conclusion.

“We are still waiting for Vaghela to announce his next step. In all probability, he is likely to float his own outfit, which will support the NDA.

The Congress has treated us as an ‘inferior brother’ in Gujarat and we have had a very strained relationship with them,” the source said. In the recently held presidential polls, political observers believe that at least seven NCP MLAs voted for the NDA nominee, Ram Nath Kovind rather than Meira Kumar, the UPA candidate.


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