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1-min read

Sharad Pawar Says Will Not Fight Lok Sabha Polls Despite Pleadings of NCP Leaders

The NCP chief also indicated that Parth, son of his nephew and senior party leader Ajit Pawar, may be fielded from Maval LS constituency in Pune district.


Updated:March 11, 2019, 8:44 PM IST

Mumbai: Veteran politician and National Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has said he will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

There was strong speculation that the former union minister would contest from the Madha seat in southwest Maharashtra, but he said on Monday that he has decided against the idea.

“I thought that already two members of my family are contesting polls this time, and hence, I felt this is right time to take decision to not contest since I already have contested 14 times in the past,” he told reporters.

The Madha seat is held by his party leader Vijaysingh Mohite Patil. "There was a lot of insistence (from within NCP) that I contest from Madha. However, my candidature hasn't been declared yet," Pawar said.

The NCP chief also indicated that Parth, son of his nephew and senior party leader Ajit Pawar, may be fielded from Maval LS constituency in Pune district. "Many people are asking (me) to field Parth from Maval," the former Union minister said.

Asked if the fear of possible defeat made him rethink of contesting from Madha, Pawar said, "I have successfully faced 14 elections. Do you think a 15th will deter me?"

The 78-year-old had in 2012, too, said that he he would not contest the parliamentary polls from now on and was retiring from electoral politics. Pawar had then said that he did not even want to contest the 2009 parliamentary polls.

But NCP leaders had held a meeting last month to convince him to reverse his decision, imploring him to reconsider since there would be no opposition to him in the polls.

The idea behind the party ‘pushing’ Pawar to contest the elections was that in the event of a hung Parliament, and if both the Congress and BJP do not manage to rustle up the requisite numbers to get their own PM candidate, then Pawar could be a top contender for the job.

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