Former President Pratibha Patil said on Thursday that former Union Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar should not decline the Opposition parties’ offer and run for presidency.
“There are reports of Pawar being offered, by all the Opposition parties, the candidature for President post. He has been declining it. He has not sought my suggestion, so I can only give my opinion. I think he should not decline the offer,” said Patil.
Patil shared her views on the sidelines of a function organised to felicitate Pawar, as he completed 50 years in politics.
The event also marked 25 years since women were given reservation in local civic bodies, a decision taken during Pawar’s tenure as the chief minister of Maharashtra.
The former President added that she would not make public the reasons behind her opinion. “There are reasons, but I will not talk about them in the open. I am sure the best wishes of women will be with Pawar, as he was the one who gave recognition to them in politics by introducing reservation in the local civic body,” she said.
Patil added that Pawar was influenced by great reformists in the state, so he was able to follow the same. “If there is conviction then only it transforms into action. It was his conviction that made him take decision in the interest of women, by giving them reservation in local civic bodies and at various other levels,” she said.
Former Union Secretary Radha Singh said she had worked with Pawar in the union government and had realised that he was more of a reformist, with a vision. “The policy decisions are mostly taken to gain political benefit, but Pawar had a vision on the situation in future,” she said.
Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shalini Patil requested the NCP chief to pursue the demand of 50 per cent reservation for women in the state assembly and Parliament.
Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan said it was due to the decision of reservation for women in local civic bodies by Pawar that the women could make it to politics and display their potential.