I had asked PM to reduce my portfolios : Pawar
Scotching speculation about seeking additional ministerial berths for NCP, Sharad Pawar today said he had asked the Prime Minister to reduce the number of his existing portfolios to focus on strengthening his party.mumbai Updated: Jul 08, 2010 19:44 IST
Scotching speculation about seeking additional ministerial berths for NCP, Sharad Pawar Thursday said he had asked the Prime Minister to reduce the number of his existing portfolios to focus on strengthening his party.
Pawar, who had fuelled speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle after he asked the Prime Minister to 'reduce his burden', dismissed suggestion that he had sought ministerial berths for his MP daughter Supriya Sule and other party leaders.
There is talk of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh effecting changes in the Council of Ministers before the Monsoon session of Parliament commences on July 26.
"I haven't demanded any additional berths," the Agriculture Minister said in an informal interaction with media here last night after being felicitated on being elected International Cricket Council (ICC) president.
Pawar, who has been entrusted with agriculture, food and civil supplies, consumer affairs and public distribution, said he had asked for a reduction in his portfolios as he wanted to focus on strengthening his party's base.
"There are some districts in Maharashtra where I have not been able to visit in a couple of years. I want to go and meet people and interact with the youth," Pawar said.
"Given the strength of my party in Parliament, I can't ask for additional ministerial berths," Pawar said.
To a query, he denied that NCP had demanded that Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel be elevated to Cabinet rank.
Pawar also rubbished reports in a section of media that Chagan Bhujbal would be inducted in the Union ministry so that his nephew Ajit Pawar could be the new deputy chief minister of Maharashtra.
Refuting claims that the ICC responsibilities would consume much of his time, Pawar said he needs to go to Dubai office of the apex cricket body once a month over a weekend.
The felicitation ceremony was organised by Bhujbal in a suburban luxury hotel. Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan also congratulated Pawar on his elevation as ICC president of the ICC.