Nationalist Congress Party is a centrist nationalist Indian political party. The party is also known as Rashtrawadi Congress Party in regional language. The party was formed on 25th May 1999 after the three leaders Sharad Pawar, P.A. Sangma and Tariq Anwar were expelled from the Indian National Congress for strongly disputing the right of Italian Born Sonia Gandhi to become the leader of the Indian National Congress. These three leaders joined hands and along with thousands of supporters assembled at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Road in New Delhi to form a new party. The party has a centre-left political ideology and it follows the tradition of the Congress leaders which includes Annie Besant, Dadabhai Naoroji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and others. At the time of formation, the party absorbed the Indian Congress (Socialist) party which traced its origin in Maharashtra. Sharad Pawar was made the President of the party and Tariq Anwar and P.A. Sangma became the General Secretaries of the party. The party also has the record of being the party to be recognized as a national party by Election Commission in the shortest duration. In 2012, P. A. Sangma, one of the founders and general secretary of the party quit the NCP to participate in the presidential polls.The election symbol of NCP is an analogue clock drawn in blue and has two legs and an alarm button and it reads 10:10. The entire logo is situated on a tri colored Indian flag which forms its background. The symbol used by the NCP party is based on their belief and it denotes that the party will keep fighting for their rights and will be following the partys principle no matter how difficult the situation is. As the symbol signifies, the party must carry their work for the masses throughout the year and it must represent the thoughts and raise the matters concerned with the common man. This is how India achieved its freedom and since the party follows the ideologies of the freedom fighters, it will uphold the traditions of the Indian leaders who fought for the independence of the country. The party stands for equality, social justice and unity of the nation upholding the democratic secular society. The party believes that India can achieve integrity only when the power is decentralized from the centre and the villages are empowered. The party believes in empowering the lower and weaker section of the society, especially people belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled tribes and Other Backward Class. The party believes in eradicating the factors like unemployment, starvation, communalism, exploitation from the society. After the establishment of the party, the party had to face the Lok Sabha elections as well as the assembly elections. Primarily based in Maharashtra, the party had the opportunity to represent itself in the states of Goa, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam Gujarat, Kerala, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand. It is even present in the Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar. The party has the maximum influence in the state of Maharashtra and the first election that the party contested there in the 1999 state legislative assembly, it gained 58 seats out of the 223 seats it contested on and became the third largest party in the state. Since no party had an absolute majority in the state, the party allied itself with the Congress party and formed a coalition government in Maharashtra. The alliance between the two parties continued in the 2004 general elections where the party allied itself with the Congress -led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and formed the government at the national level. The party supported the Congress party after the Congress partys decision to choose Manmohan Singh to be the Prime Minister. In the 2004 assembly elections in Maharashtra, the NCPs political influence reached the maximum when it won 71 seats out of the 124 seats it contested and its alliance Congress won 69 seats, forming the Maharashtra state government. However, in the 2009 assembly elections, the party gained 62 seats out of the 114 seats it contested on whereas the alliance Congress gained 82 seats and they continued their coalition government in Maharashtra. In the 2014 elections, the party was able to win only 41 seats and their alliance Congress won only 42 seats and the coalition was far from forming the government. The NCP offered outside support to BJP for forming the government however, the BJP formed the government in the state with Shiv Sena. As of August 2016, the BJP Sena coalition heads the government in Maharashtra.The NCPs performance at the national level was much lower in other states except Maharashtra. In the Goa state legislative assembly elections of 2007, NCP was able to win three seats however in the 2012 elections the party lost all the seats it fought in the state. At the Lok Sabha elections of 1999, the party won eight seats and the party had nine seats in the 2004 and 2009 elections but the party had received only about 2 percent of the nationwide vote. The party also had seven seats in Lok Sabha in 2010 and 2012 contests however the party suffered a setback in the 2014 elections where the party suffered a great loss and its representation was then reduced to six seats. The party also had some internal problems and one group of the party in Kerala broke in 2002 and another in Chhattisgarh. In 2004, one of the founders of the party P.A. Sangma pulled its faction based in Meghalaya out of the NCP. He later returned to the party but left again in 2012 to contest for presidency of India when NCP decided to support Pranab Mukherjee for presidency elections. P.A. Sangma lost the elections and in 2013, he formed the Nationals People Party. The party has its student wing known as Nationalist Student Congress and also has a youth wing called Nationalist Youth Congress. The women wing is known as Nationalist Mahila Congress and it has played an important role fighting for the women rights in the country. As the Minister of Agriculture, Sharad Pawar received Krishi Ratna Award for his policies in agriculture. His policies helped in reducing the number of farmer suicides in India. He also introduced many schemes like National Project on Management of Soil, Health and Fertility, Jute Technology Mission and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. He also increased the budget allocated for farming from 2% to 4.5%. NCP has a major contribution to rural India in general.