Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said in Baramati on Thursday that the "election and selection" of the leader of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) would occur after the parliamentary polls.
"Election and selection of leader will be done collectively by the UPA," Pawar said in reply to a question on whether Manmohan Singh will be the prime minister after the polls.
Asked about the UPA partners contesting elections separately, Pawar said: "Those who have been together in the UPA might be contesting separately but after elections we will sit together. We want to work under the umbrella of the UPA."
Pawar didn't rule out an alliance with the Left parties. Asked about the question whether the Left parties were untouchables as considered by the Congress Pawar replied: "I don't think so."
Lalu Prasad, leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal, another UPA member, also said in Patna Thursday that the UPA would form the next government and "if we fall a bit short, we have kept open a window for the Left".
The NCP is contesting Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra in alliance with the Congress party. While Pawar is contesting from the Madha Lok Sabha seat, his daughter Supriya Sule is fighting from Baramati.
Polling for 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra was underway on Thursday.