A day after Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he would be “happy” to see NCP chief Sharad Pawar as the prime minister of India, the latter Sunday dodged a question on whether he wished to occupy the office. Though Pawar did not completely rule out the idea, he reiterated that he did not wish to contest Lok Sabha elections.
“I have already announced that I am not going to contest Lok Sabha elections. People can deduce (what he wants) from this decision,” Pawar said at the launch of Krishi Vasant, an agriculture fair to be organised the government in Nagpur next month. Shinde, who is known to be good Pawar’s good friend, had said on Saturday the latter was a victim of Delhi politics and he had no doubt in supporting Pawar for the post of PM.
The NCP had reacted saying Pawar was not in the race for the top job. “We all know Sharad Pawar is the most capable leader to become the PM. But he is not in the race. The NCP understands its political limitations. The party contests limited seats in the Lok Sabha, which makes it difficult to stake claim for the top post. The arithmetic is not in our favour,” party chief spokesperson Nawab Malik had said.
Earlier, Pawar had indicated that he would spend more time in organisational work for the party and return as MP through the Rajya Sabha. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a Rajya Sabha MP.
259 churches and institutes under protection after recent spate of attacks.