Day after Kishor-Gandhi meet, NCP refutes 'Pawar as presidential face' talks
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday dismissed reports of its chief Sharad Pawar being in contention for the next presidential polls to be held next year. This came a day after election strategist Prashant Kishor held hours-long talks with Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka.
Pawar, who too has held a few meetings with Kishor in the past few weeks, said he is aware of the numbers involved in the election and he will not be a presidential candidate. "I know what will be the result, given one party (BJP) has more than 300 MPs. I will not be a candidate for the presidential election," said Pawar, a former chief minister of Maharashtra and Union minister.
He said Kishor met him twice and there was no discussion regarding leadership for the 2024 Lok Sabha election or the presidential election. "We only talked about a company of his. No discussion was held regarding the leadership for the 2024 elections or the presidential election. He told me that he has left the field of formulating poll strategies," Pawar said, adding he will not assume any leadership in the next Lok Sabha polls.
"Nothing has been decided so far, be it the 2024 general elections or state elections. The election is far away, the political situation keeps changing. I am not going to assume any leadership in the 2024 elections," he said.
NCP spokesperson and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said the reports are baseless and no such talks have been held either within the party or with other parties. "There are no presidential polls soon. This condition after polls in five states will be reviewed. There has been no such talk in the party or with other parties. The news is fabricated,” Malik was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
President Ram Nath Kovind's tenure will come to an end next year.
(With agency inputs)