Not a candidate for presidential election: Sharad Pawar trashes media reports

MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar has ruled out contesting the Presidential election due in 2022, sources in his party said on Wednesday, an assertion coming in the wake of speculation about the veteran politician becoming the opposition nominee for the top post.

The sources said Pawar (80), a multiple-time CM of Maharashtra and a former Union minister, has rejected media reports about him becoming a candidate in the Presidential election.

According to the sources, Pawar feels election result for someone contesting against the candidate of a party which has overwhelming numbers in Parliament will be a foregone conclusion.

Apparently, poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s two meetings with Pawar a few days ago and his (Kishor) recent meetings with Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi fuelled speculation in the media that these meets explored the possibility of the Maharashtra politician becoming the opposition candidate for India’s highest office.

A source from the NCP, which is part of the coalition that rules Maharashtra, however, said Pawar has termed these reports as “false” and ruled out jumping into the Presidential poll fray.

Pawar has reportedly said he did not have any discussion over the Presidential poll or about the 2024 general elections with Kishor.

Such reports in the media are mere speculation, the sources said.

NCP minister Nawab Malik said there has been no discussion within the party on the Presidential poll.