Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Sharad Pawar hangs up his boot. Temporarily?

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Source: Sharad Pawar Twitter
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Having contested elections 14 times, NCP chief Sharad Pawar today said he will not contest next month’s Lok Sabha election.

The 78-year-old veteran politician said as two members of his family are going to contest the polls, “somebody had to step back.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the NCP chief’s decision to pull out from poll fray was because he had “sensed the change in the air”.

“Since I have already won elections 14 times, I decided not to contest the poll (this time),” the Rajya Sabha member told reporters after holding a meeting with party leaders.

“Somebody from our family had to step back and I decided to give an opportunity to the young leadership. I thought this was the right time to take this decision,” he said.

Pawar announced that his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar will be NCP’s candidate from Maval Lok Sabha constituency.

“Jayant Patil (of Peasant and Workers Party of India), whose party has good presence in three of the six Assembly segments in Maval Lok Sabha constituency, urged me to give ticket to Parth as his party is ready to work for him.

“We also have strong presence in the other three constituencies and we thought of giving an opportunity to the young leadership by giving ticket to Parth from Maval,” he said.

Ajit Pawar is an NCP MLA from Pune district.

Sharad Pawar had earlier said he was reconsidering his decision of not contesting the Lok Sabha election.

He had said his party workers wanted him to contest from Madha constituency in Solapur district, currently represented by NCP leader Vijaysinh Mohite Patil.

“There was a lot of insistence (from within NCP) that I contest from Madha. However, my candidature hasn’t been declared yet,” Pawar said Monday.

The NCP chief’s daughter Supriya Sule currently represents the family bastion of Baramati in the Lok Sabha.

Reacting to Pawar’s announcement, Fadnavis said the NCP leader “sensed the change in the air”, and decided to rethink on plans to contest Lok Sabha poll from Madha LS seat.

Addressing BJP workers at the party office in Dadar, he said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi once praised Pawar of being able to sense any change earlier than others.”

“It looks like he has understood the change and this (Pawar’s pulling out of LS poll arena) is a major victory for the BJP, Fadnavis said.

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