NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said he doesn’t have any interest in becoming the UPA chairperson, dismissing speculation that he may take over the position from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Pawar’s statement to News18 came a day before he was scheduled to travel to Delhi to meet opposition leaders on the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
“I don't have the time or inclination to be UPA chairperson. There is no question of any such proposal,” Pawar told News18.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar speaks exclusively to News18; says 'I don't have any interest in becoming UPA chairman.' @nirajjournalist shares more details with @RitangshuB. pic.twitter.com/SZyRLBKEPD— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 27, 2020
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had earlier dismissed media speculation that Pawar may take over UPA reins from Sonia Gandhi. "The Nationalist Congress Party would like to clarify that there is no discussion within UPA partners regarding any such proposal," chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase had said. "The reports appearing in the media seems to behave planted by vested interests to divert the attention from the ongoing farmers' agitation," he had added.
However, celebrating Pawar’s 80th birthday on December 12, NCP leader Praful Patel took a dig at Maharashtra ally Congress and said the Maratha strongman could not become prime minister in the 1990s due to the party’s “darbar coterie”.
The speculation was fueled by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s cryptic response that “anything can happen in politics”. The Sena, NCP and Congress’ ruling ally in Maharashtra, had expressed confidence that the former Union minister, who turned 80 on December 12, is capable of a bigger national role. "Politics is unpredictable. You never know what will happen next,” Sena MP Raut had said.