The ongoing controversy involving its president and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and his Member of Parliament-daughter, Supriya Sule, over their role in the failed bid for an Indian Premier League franchise has forced the Nationalist Congress Party to defer the celebrations of its 11th anniversary, which falls on June 10. Instead, the party will mark the occasion during its national executive, to be held on June 18 and June 19 in Bihar.
To keep the celebrations a low-key affair, the party has asked its state units to hold various programmes including workshops on key issues like food security and climate change. State units are also slated to organise competitions for children and youth.
An NCP leader, who is in the national executive, said on the condition of anonymity, "The decision in this regard was taken at the highest level. The image of our president as a visionary leader and the Union agriculture minister, who strives for increase in the agricultural growth, has been affected following media reports on City Corporation bidding for the Pune IPL team. Even though Pawar and Supriya have denied any connection to the IPL bid, a celebration of the anniversary would have given it another possibility to attract criticism."
The NCP leader said the decision to defer the celebration was also taken in view of the election to the various state councils slated for June 10. Besides, the party is involved in organising necessary votes for the election to the Rajya Sabha, scheduled for June 17.