Contrary to the rumours, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said that he had no role to play in convincing Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray to extend his support to UPA’s presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
Pawar, however, added that he would love to “have a cup of tea with Thackeray if he has time” when Mukherjee visits Thackeray’s residence Matoshree on July 13.
Pawar, who was in Mumbai on Friday for the inauguration of infrastructure facilities at the Central Institute for Fisheries, said that Sena’s support for Mukherjee should not be misinterpreted.
“Many other parties which are part of the NDA, including JD(U), have also backed his candidature. It is important for the candidate to meet and discuss the issues with supporting parties and leaders. We have met the CPM and TRS leaders as well,” Pawar said. He added that even in 2007, Sena had backed UPA candidate Pratibha Patil.
When questioned if Sena was trying to push for former Lok Sabha speaker and Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s name for the post of vice-president, Pawar said: “No such proposal has come from the Sena.”