NCP Chief Sharad Pawar not to contest 2019 polls

Panduranga Mhaske
Sunday, 7 October 2018

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, on Satuday , announced that he will not contest the 2019 elections in order to give the opportunity to the ‘young blood’ in the party.

Mumbai: NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, on Satuday, announced that he will not contest the 2019 elections in order to give the opportunity to the ‘young blood’ in the party. In the last week, there were speculations that NCP President Sharad Pawar is going to contest the Lok Sabha election from Pune city constituency. NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade had also suggested that if Pawar contests from Pune, it would be good for the party.

However, on Saturday, Pawar clearly stated that he will not contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha election and insisted on remaining a Rajya Sabha member only.

Pawar called for a two-day meeting of the NCP leaders in the State on Saturday at the NCP Bhavan in Mumbai. The meeting was convened to review the performance of the party and workers in the State and also to discuss the names of the candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
During discussions of the possible names for the candidature, Pawar unequivocally stated that his name should not be considered for the upcoming election.

Pawar has been in active politics since last six decades. He has been the chief minister for four terms, was the Defence Minister in PV Narasimha Rao government and Agricultural Minister in Dr Manmohan Singh government. 

At the meeting, Pawar discussed the current political situation for the 21 Lok Sabha seats. The party had also called leaders from Jalna, Aurangabad, Dhule and Ichalkaranji to discuss the issues and strategy with the names of possible candidates.
According to sources, the NCP demanded 25 seats in alliance with Congress, out of which, one will be alloted to Raju Shetti of Swabhimani Paksha from NCP quota.
There are 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State. With the elections coming up, both the Congress and NCP have started with their election preparations separately. In 2014 elections, the two parties had an alliance in which, the Congress had contested 27 seats and NCP had contested 21 seats. The NCP had bagged four seats while the Congress got only two out of the total 48 seats in Maharashtra. In the Assembly polls held in October 2014, the Congress won 42 and NCP won 41 out of the total 288 seats.

 The rumour mill is that Parth Pawar, son of NCP leader Ajit Pawar, will contest the next election from Mawal constituency. Sharad Pawar did not react to it during the meeting. NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad said that Pawar did not deny the candidature of Parth Pawar. A senior leader from NCP said that if all members of the Pawar family are going to contest the election, then what about the workers who work for the party. “Pawar’s decision of not contesting the election is also for the party workers, then how will they allow their family members to contest,” he asked.

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