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Pawar not optimistic about being projected as PM candidate

india Updated: Apr 22, 2009 01:03 IST

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that he was not optimistic about being projected as Prime Ministerial candidate, as his party was contesting too few seats in Lok Sabha election to have such expectations.

"I have made my position clear. Unless we have the strength one should not expect to lead the country. We have hardly contested 40 seats and it is not proper to expect such high responsibility to run the country," he said, adding that "ambition is one thing, ground level reality is not conducive. No point in having irrational ambition".

The Maratha leader said this in an interview to television channel CNN-IBN.

Pawar also downplayed AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa's proposal to back him as PM candidate, and said, "I don't think it is an endorsement. She just said I have the capacity to work as PM and beyond that there is nothing."

He, however, added that the Left parties would be the key for UPA to form the government again at the Centre.

"UPA and its partners should have good rapport with the Left Front ... We could reach magic figure (in 2004) only because we got support from Left," Pawar said.

On an umbrella coalition of secular parties, the NCP chief said that his efforts "will be to get Lalu, Paswan. My assessment is that with just the old partners it (UPA) will not be able to form the next government. We need more support from secular forces ... It will be my effort to bring old secular friends together ... Lalu, Paswan and SP are secular forces and they will not join NDA."