Mumbai: As per the announcement made by the NCP party leader Jitendra Ahwad in Mumbai today, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Mr. Ahwad told reporters that Mr. Pawar had already made it clear in the year 2014 that he will not be contesting the next Lok Sabha elections and by saying this he put to rest speculations that Mr. Pawar will contest Pune Lok Sabha seat.
“Pawar has told the party not to consider his name as he will not be a candidate. In today’s meeting, Pawar said he is not in the (LS) race and nobody should propose his name,” said the NCP lawmaker from Mumbra-Kalwa, in neighbouring Thane district.
Mr. Awhad also denied that the candidature of Parth Pawar was opposed by the NCP chief for the Mawal Lok Sabha seat. Parth Pawar is the son of senior leader Ajit Pawar.
“Preliminary discussions are on. The name will be finalised after discussions with party workers,” Mr Ahwad said.
Currently the former Union Agriculture minister is holding a two-day meeting with NCP leaders and functionaries at the party’s state unit office to discuss candidates for the Lok Sabha elections to be held next year. The meeting started on Saturday morning.
Another notable development is that the former Maharashtra NCP chief Sunil Tatkare told reporters that he was to step aside if Bhaskar Jadhav, another former state party chief, was keen to contest from the Lok Sabha seat of Raigad.
Mr. Tatkare had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Raigad and was unsuccessful, near Mumbai, against Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete.
Mr. Geete is the Heavy Industries minister in the current Narendra Modi government. “I will work for his (Jadhav) win. If Jadhav is interested, I am willing to withdraw. I am not interested in contesting Lok Sabha polls. More than my candidature, I want to ensure victory of a secular government. If Jadhav is interested, I am supporting him,” Mr Tatkare said.
The NCP has held talks with the Congress to demand 50-50 seat-sharing formula for the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats to form an alliance with it.
In 2014, the two parties entered an alliance in 2014 and the Congress contested 27 seats while the NCP put up candidates on 21 LS seats.
Mr. Pawar will hold discussion over the current political situation in the 21 Lok Sabha seats that the party had contested in 2014 and discuss the process of selection of candidates, a senior NCP leader had said on Friday.