And that was largely because of NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad who won the seat in and because of his goodwill and personal connect with the voters rather than the party. He coined the word 'saffron terrorism' after the Malegaon bomb blast to endear himself to the state's Muslim community.
Curiously, he has never sought the agriculture portfolio for his party in seat-sharing arrangements with the Congress.
His party always insisted upon - and - got the ministries of home, water resources, public works, health, labour, excise and higher education. NCP believes that economic growth in the country can be achieved only through competition, self-reliance, individual initiatives which cater to the demands of social justice and non-discrimination.
The members of the NCP believe that no person of foreign origin can occupy the highest seats of power and responsibility in the country, namely the President of India, Prime Minister of India, Chief Justice, Chief of Army and others. In the first election it contested there, for the state legislative assembly init came in third, with 58 seats won out of seats contested.
Pawar, the scion of an agriculturist family from Pune district in western Maharashtra, always tried to project himself as a 'man of development' with interests in agriculture.
The alliance between the two parties continued in subsequent state and national elections, and the NCP became part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance UPA coalition government in which chose Manmohan Singh to be prime minister after Sonia Gandhi elected not to run.
Recently, officials of the Enforcement Directorate and income tax department conducted searches at NCP leader Hassan Mushrif's house and office in Kolhapur. Navi Mumbai was the only one of the 22 municipal corporations in the state that was under the control of Sharad Pawar's NCP.
However, the party received only a small proportion of the nationwide vote 1. One group broke with the party in Kerala in although another party merged with the NCP there inand another faction split off from it in Chhattisgarh in It believes in an institutionalized and democratic functioning of the party.
The party did slowly increase its number of seats in the Rajya Sabha upper chamber of parliamentfrom four in the election to seven in the and contests, but it suffered a setback in the Lok Sabha polls, when its representation there was reduced to six seats.