The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), formed in 1999 by a breakaway Congress group, is all set to inaugurate its elegant, newly renovated state headquarters on December 28, the day on which the Congress celebrates its foundation day.
According to NCP men, the common date for the two events is a mere coincidence.
The richly refurbished party office at the government barracks on Free Press Journal Road is a trendsetter as it will be a paperless affair, say NCP men.
“With Wi-Fi connectivity and state-of-the-art equipment, the office will serve as a high-tech backbone for party activities,” an NCP office-bearer said, requesting anonymity.
The office-bearer claimed the inauguration was planned after considering the availability of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
In June 1999, Pawar had parted ways with the Congress to form NCP.
The inauguration was earlier scheduled for December 9, the birthday of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, but the function was postponed. Party leaders insist the scratching of the original date was not a result of their realising it would also be Gandhi’s birthday. “It (the earlier date) had to be cancelled as Pawar was not available,” said the office-bearer.
Pawar, who celebrates his birthday today, has not yet acceded to the party state unit’s demand that he inaugurate the office. “Pawar is currently undergoing some medical check-ups and it was all pre-planned,” a party leader said.
Ajit Pawar hand
The new NCP office boasts state-of-the-art interiors, spacious cabins for office-bearers, and two meeting halls. The renovation concepts were provided by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. “He (Ajit Pawar) had full control over the renovation,” the office-bearer said. “Everything is his idea.”
Though the NCP refused to divulge the cost of the renovation, it can be estimated to be easily near Rs 1 crore.
Even the portraits of political stalwarts adorning the office walls were decided by Ajit Pawar.
“One can find late Congress PM Rajiv Gandhi’s portrait in the meeting hall,” the office-bearer said.
Sena takes leaf from NCP book
Taking a cue from the NCP, the Shiv Sena has also decided to go for a complete renovation of its office ‘Shivalaya’, which is a few steps away from the NCP headquarters. The office is claiming some additional space and it is also planned as a high-tech office, said party sources.