Nationalist Congress Party
Published 14th April, 2014
The Nationalist Congress Party or NCP was founded on 25th May 1999 by Sharad Pawar, P. A. Sangma and Tariq Anwar after they were expelled from the Indian National Congress (INC). The party describes itself as Centre-left and it believes in Progressivism, Populism, Gandhian secularism, Federalism and Social conservatism.
The symbol of the party is a clock and its colour if Aqua.
The home state of the party is Maharashtra and in its first election in 1999 it won six seats in the state and a further two seats elsewhere to give it eight seats in the Lok Sabha. In the state assembly elections that year the party won 58 of the 288 seats.
Although the party had been formed because it contested the right of the Italian born Sonia Gandhi to lead the Indian National Congress (INC), in January 2004 the NCP split over whether it should join an alliance with the INC. Pawar’s faction opted for an electoral alliance with the INC, and for the 2004 election were part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), winning nine Lok Sabha seats and Pawar was made Agriculture Minister.
Again in 2009 the NCP was part of the UPA alliance and again they won nine seats. Many of their policies were adopted by the UPA’s Common Minimum Programme (CMP) and Sharad Pawar was returned as Agriculture Minister.