Pawar has ‘great ability’ to become PM: NCP

Amidst the raging debate in the ruling dispensation about its prime ministerial candidate in the forthcoming general election,the Nationalist Congress Party....

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:January 22, 2009 11:58 pm

Amidst the raging debate in the ruling dispensation about its prime ministerial candidate in the forthcoming general election,the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday added a fresh twist saying that NCP chief Sharad Pawar has “great ability” to become PM.

Asked if the NCP considered Rahul Gandhi as the future PM,the NCP general secretary D P Tripathi said,“It is a half truth. Rahul Gandhi is both present and future. The Congress has to decide who will be its PM.” Tripathi evaded a question on Rahul’s abilities to become PM by saying,“People decide (who has) the abilities.”

“Pawar saheb has a great ability to become PM,but all depends on the number of seats required for it,” NCP general secretary D P Tripathi said in response to queries at a press conference after the party’s Extended Working Committee meeting. He was quick to cite the example of I K Gujral and Chandra Shekhar who had become PM because of “circumstances”. “As far as the NCP is concerned,we would like him (Pawar) to become PM. Politics is pregnant with possibilities,” said Tripathi.

The NCP,which is demanding 26 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra and 15 in other states under seat sharing arrangements with the Congress,sought to put pressure on the Congress to convene the meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee to decide the electoral strategy of the ruling combine. The NCP will finalise its candidates by February 6 and would announce their names by February-end. The party intends to contest 45 to 50 Lok Sabha seats in the entire country in the forthcoming election.

While the NCP is unlikely to have any tie-up with the Left in West Bengal and Kerala — because of the Left’s decision not to ally with any UPA constituents — Tripathi said the party would support the Left candidates in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The NCP leader clarified that if his party’s talks with the Congress failed in some states,the NCP would look for alternatives but would go only with secular democratic parties.

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