Adding fuel to speculations that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar could succeed Sonia Gandhi as United Progressive Alliance (UPA)chairperson, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said his party will be happy if the veteran NCP leader assumes the post and that he will support him if such a proposal comes his way officially.
“We’ll be happy if Pawar sir becomes UPA chairman. But I’ve heard that he’s personally refused it. We will support him if such a proposal comes to the fore officially,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying. He added that since Congress is weak now, the opposition needs to come together and strengthen the UPA.
However, the NCP on Thursday had rejected any possibility of Pawar helming UPA, terming such reports as “baseless media speculation”. NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said there are unsubstantiated reports in the media regarding Pawar taking over as the chairperson of the UPA.
We’ll be happy if Pawar sir becomes UPA chairman. But I’ve heard that he’s personally refused it. We will support him if such a proposal comes to the fore officially. Congress is weak now so the opposition needs to come together & strengthen the UPA: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena leader pic.twitter.com/3NNHEjCmPu
— ANI (@ANI) December 11, 2020
“The Nationalist Congress Party would like to clarify that there is no discussion within UPA partners regarding any such proposal,” news agency PTI reported as Tapase saying. “The reports appearing in the media seems to be have planted by vested interests to divert the attention from the ongoing farmers’ agitation,” he added.
Earlier too, Shiv Sena, which is an ally of NCP and Congress in Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, had said anything can happen in politics, and exuded confidence that the former Union minister, who turns 80 on December 12, is capable of a bigger national role.