The Congress had offered Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar to become the Opposition’s candidate for Presidential elections but he had turned it down, an NCP leader said on Wednesday.
“In a meeting on April 27, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked Pawar to consider contesting presidential elections on behalf of the Opposition, but he refused. He, however, told Soniaji that he would work towards getting an Opposition candidate elected as president,”said NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik.
He added, “Pawar saheb has been insisting on a joint Opposition candidate and will make an effort for the elections.”
Pawar had earlier appealed to the ruling BJP to talk with the Opposition about getting the next president elected by consensus.
The Congress president has been talking to various opposition party leaders to field a common candidate opposite the BJP nominee for presidential polls.
Meanwhile, sources in the NCP said that the party was not convinced that the Opposition could manage to mobilise enough votes to get its candidate elected. “Between the ruling and opposition parties, it is the former that has better chances of winning presidential election,”said a party leader.
However, he also said that the NCP would vote for the Opposition candidate.