Will contest Lok Sabha election 2019; Ajit, Parth will not: NCP chief Sharad Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar has confirmed that he will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Will contest Lok Sabha election 2019; Ajit, Parth will not: NCP chief Sharad Pawar

PUNE: Ending months of speculation over his future role in active politics, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has declared that he will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2019, while his nephew Ajit Pawar and others family members will not contest.

Speaking to media persons late on Tuesday, Pawar said, “Ajit Pawar is not going to contest the election, Parth Pawar is not going to contest, Rohit Pawar is not going to contest. Sharad Pawar is going to contest.”

Pawar made this statement while addressing a question about him allegedly promoting dynastic politics in the region.

Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar is already a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and there were strong speculations about his son Ajit joining the active politics and contesting polls.

Pawar also refuted rumours of his grandson Rohit contesting polls.

Talking about the recently reinstated alliance of BJP-Shiv Sena for upcoming elections, Pawar said that people will decide the fate of the same.

“There was an atmosphere in last few months where there was a heated exchange of words between them. Today they are standing together, wanting to send a message of unity. People of Maharashtra can understand their strategy. They will think and take the step,” said Pawar.

NCP chief also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not attending the all-party meet called in the wake of Pulwama terror attack and said, “An all-party meeting was called by centre after Pulwama Attack. We were told the meeting has been called by PM. When I reached I saw that PM is not there. He should have been there but he found it more important to criticise us in rallies in Dhule and Yavatmal.”

It was earlier reported that the NCP president may contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2019 from the Madha seat in Western Maharashtra.

Though no formal announcement was made, the sources claimed that a decision in this regard was taken following a meeting of top NCP leaders including Sharad Pawar, Jayant Patil, Chagan Bhujbal and sitting Madha Lok Sabha MP Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil.

The meeting was held in Baramati Hostel in Pune, the sources said.

During the meeting, it was decided that Pawar will contest from the Madha Lok Sabha constituency while the incumbent Madha MP will not be given party ticket to contest the upcoming polls.

The decision reportedly angered the incumbent Madha MP's supporters, who are demanding the NCP top brass to reconsider its decision.   

It may be recalled that Pawar had earlier said that he won't contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Back in 2014, Pawar had said that he had been in the politics for more than 50 years and would not contest elections henceforth. 

During 2014 general elections, the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress had fielded political contenders for 27 constituencies in Maharashtra, while the Pawar-led NCP had contested on 21 seats. 

In 2014, NCP could only win four seats – it's lowest tally in several years. 

This led to strong speculations that the NCP chief may contest from Pune constituency in order to boost his party's prospects.

Out of 48 seats in the state, NCP is likely to contest on 25, the sources said.

(With ANI inputs)