Mumbai : Rubbishing allegations of Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane that it conspired to defeat Congress in the state, the NCP today said Rane had not come to terms with his son’s defeat in Lok Sabha polls.

“It looks like Rane has not digested his son’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections,” NCP spokesman Nawab Malik alleged, while addressing a press conference here.

Rane’s son Nilesh failed to retain his Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri Lok Sabha seat this time. NCP MLA from Sawantwadi, Deepak Kesarkar, had openly campaigned against him.

When asked about the demand for leadership change in the Congress, Malik said such talk at this juncture was not good.

“Introspection is on in both parties into reasons for the massive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls and strategy is being planned to win back people’s confidence for the Assembly elections,” he said. On senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari taking charge of the Union Transport Ministry, Malik said he should take steps to scrap the toll system on highways and expressways.

“Since Sena-BJP in Maharashtra has promised to make the state toll free if it comes to power in the state, Gadkari should take the lead and implement it nationwide,” he said.

Malik said the NCP had congratulated the new government at the Centre and that the party will play the role of a responsible opposition.

Referring to the presence of all SAARC leaders at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony yesterday, he expressed hope that India-Pakistan ties would improve.

Malik also said the Election Commission of India had not allowed registration of a new party called Rashtrawadi Congress Party, following NCP’s objection.

“Nationalist Congress Party when translated is Rashtrawadi Congress Party and EC ruled that no new political party can have a translated name of any existing political outfit,” he explained. -PTI

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