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No plans to make Pawar prime minister: NCP

There were no plans to make Sharad Pawar PM if NDA failed to return to power, NCP said.
PTI | By Marcells D'Souza (IANS), Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2004 06:30 PM IST

Sharad Pawar has not been invited to be prime minister in case a Government of non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), secular outfits come to power after the polls, his Nationalist Congress Party said on Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference, NCP spokesperson Vasant Chavan said in Mumbai, "Nothing has been decided on the future prime minister. All like-minded parties will discuss the issue before coming up with a consensus."

He denied that Pawar had been invited to lead it.

When asked if the NCP was ready to keep aside the issue of "foreign origin" at the time of Government formation, Chavan said: "The issue will be discussed at the appropriate time."

The Italian origin of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had been the root cause of Pawar parting ways with the party and forming NCP.

Commenting on the suggestion by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray that leaders above the age of 65 should not be elected, Chavan said: "Then how is the Shiv Sena supporting the Government led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajyapee (who is 79)?".

He added: "The Sena should also do some introspection about its own leader."

Suggestions that the state Government will go in for early assembly polls were denied by the NCP, which partners Congress in the Maharashtra Government.

"There is no such proposal before us. We have plenty of work to do before the assembly elections," said Chavan.

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