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Next President should be a political figure - Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar says a non-political person may not be able to understand the intricacies of coalition politics.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2007 16:52 IST

Making it clear the next President of the country should be a "political figure", NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said a non-political person may not be able to understand the intricacies of coalition politics.

"We are clear that the President should be somebody from the political arena mainly because coalition politics will be the reality for the next 15 to 16 years and if a stable government is to be run we need somebody who can understand the intricacies of coalition politics," he said after a meeting with leaders of Maharashtra unit of NCP.

"Although the NCP has made it clear that it will not have a candidate of its own and will leave it up to the Congress to make the decision, we have conveyed our feelings about how the presidential candidate should be," said Pawar, whose party is a member of the ruling coalition at the Centre.

Asserting that a candidate with "secular credentials" was essential, Pawar said the person should also have impeccable credentials like the current President APJ Abdul Kalam.

The Union Minister said both the prime minister and CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat had spoken with him on the issue but no specific names had been discussed.

"It is up to the Congress to take a decision on the candidate after which they will hold final discussions with all allies, following which a decision will be taken. There is no question of the NCP suggesting any names of its own."

Pawar also denied he had extended his support to Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat for the top post.

"He is a good friend of mine but that does not mean that we support him for the post of president. As everybody knows I have friends across the political spectrum, but we will only support what is decided."

First Published: May 26, 2007 19:02 IST