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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Pawar won’t contest LS polls, to take RS route

PTI  Mumbai, January 05, 2014
First Published: 19:21 IST(5/1/2014) | Last Updated: 00:36 IST(6/1/2014)

Union agriculture minister and NCP president Sharad Pawar on Sunday said he will not contest the coming Lok Sabha election but is likely to take the Rajya Sabha route.

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"I have decided to stop. This will enable me to devote maximum time to party work. I am not averse to be in Rajya Sabha. Biennial elections to the upper house of Parliament will be held in March," the 73-year-old leader said addressing party workers in Mumbai.

The Maharashtra strongman, who had after the recent assembly polls debacle said that Congress and its allies should ponder over the outcome, today asserted that "there is no need to be demoralised by the election results."  

However, he maintained that "people need decisive leaders. People support those who take decisions."  He said the ruling Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra
need not be overly worried over the results of assembly elections and reminded that Congress was routed in 1977, but Indira Gandhi resurrected the party in two years and returned to power.

"There is no need to worry about the state. What happens elsewhere in the country is not necessarily replicated in Maharashtra. We have done well in Dhule, Nandurbar, Akola and Washim zila parishad polls, held after the assembly elections in the four states.  We have to go the people with confidence.

There are various reasons why our ally (Congress) lost in the assembly elections," he said.

"I knew Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments will be returning to power on the strength of their work. However, people have not accepted the performance of governments in Rajasthan and Delhi," he said.

Pawar also said that there was much hype about Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi before the assembly results in Delhi, but now it had faded away.

The food security scheme will be launched from January 26 and will cover 65% of the population, he said.

Pawar, who parted ways with Congress in 1999 on the foreign origin issue of Sonia Gandhi, is sharing power with her party in Maharashtra for over 14 years and has been a part of the UPA at the Centre since 2004.


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