New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said he won’t contest the 2014 general elections. Pawar, who is serving as the Union Agriculture Minister, disclosed this in an interview to a private TV news channel.
The NCP supremo wants to bid adieu to politics “to make way for the younger generation.”
"It`s enough... It is the responsibility of people like me to encourage younger people and younger leadership to continue to work in (his) political party," Pawar said.
Pawar entered power politics in 1967 and since then he has not lost a single election. He won the Lok Sabha elections eight times since he first entered the Indian parliament in March 1985.
He founded the NCP in 1999 after breaking away from the Congress. He held the posts of defence minister and served as the chief minister of Maharashtra thrice.
When asked that would anyone from his family head the NCP after his retirement, the 72-year-old NCP supremo said “NCP does not believe in the dynastic politics.”
Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule is already in active politics and is a Lok Sabha MP from Maharashtra. His nephew Ajit Pawar is the deputy chief minister of the state.
While replying to a query on the Congress party’s chances to win the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Pawar said the election will surely be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi.
“Congress party has projected Rahul Gandhi as the chief campaigner in Uttar Pradesh. So if Cong fails in UP polls it would be Rahul’s responsibility.”
Meanwhile, Pawar’s statement on Rahul Gandhi has irked the Congress party. There are speculations that the partnership of NCP and Congress in the Mumbai civic polls could be adversely hit.