Presidential Election 2017: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday ruled out his candidature for upcoming Presidential polls. Speaking to media, Pawar said: “You get huge castle after becoming the President, but don’t get chance to meet you (media) people (Rashtrapati hone ke baad achhi haveli milti hai, baaki sab theek hai lekin aap (to media) logon ko milne ka mauka nahin milta).” He further said that he wont be contesting as he doesn’t want to retire from politics any time soon. “I am not in this competition, I don’t want to retire from politics this soon, (Mai iss contest mein nahin hoon, mujhe rajneeti se itni jaldi retire hona nahin hai),” Pawar said
Earlier, in the day, Union minister Ramdas Athawale said that if NCP chief Sharad Pawar was keen on contesting the presidential election, he should join the National Democratic Alliance. A number of reports have speculated that opposition is mulling Pawar’s name for the post of the president. However, Pawar, outrightly denied contesting the polls.
When reporters here asked the Union Social Justice Minister on who should be the next president, Athawale said, “This decision lies with the NDA. If Pawar wants to become the president, he should join the NDA.” Athawale, however, pointed out that Pawar shares a good relation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “If a ‘Marathi manoos’ becomes the president, (I) will be happy,” said the chief of Republican Party of India (Athawale), an ally of BJP.
While the ruling NDA at the Centre maintained silence over its nominee for the presidential poll, Opposition parties have intensified their efforts to decide a joint candidate for the top post. The Opposition leaders recently met at the Parliament Library Building in New Delhi to take a decision on pitting joint candidate. However, the parties couldn’t reach a consensus.