The National Congress Party president and Maharashtra strongman, Mr. Sharad Pawar, will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the NCP leader, Mr. Jitendra Ahwad, has said.
Putting to rest speculations that he will contest from Pune seat, Mr. Ahwad said that Mr. Pawar had already made it clear in 2014 that he will not contest the Lok Sabha polls again.
'Mr. “Pawar has told the party not to consider his name as he will not be a candidate. At today’s meeting, Pawar said he is not in the race and nobody should propose his name,'said the NCP MLA from Mumbra-Kalwa, in neighbouring Thane district.
Mr. Awhad also denied that the NCP chief had opposed the candidature of Mr. Parth Pawar, son of senior leader Mr. Ajit Pawar,for the Mawal seat.
'Preliminary discussions are on and the name will be finalised after discussions with party workers,' Mr. Ahwad said.
The former Union Agriculture minister is currently holding a two-day meeting with NCP leaders and functionaries at the party’s state unit office to discuss candidates for the LS polls.
In another development, former Maharashtra NCP chief, Mr. Sunil Tatkare, said that he was willing to step aside if Mr. Bhaskar Jadhav, another former state party chief, was keen to contest from the Raigad seat.
He had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 polls from Raigad against Shiv Sena leader, Mr. Anant Geete.
The NCP has demanded a 50-50 seat-sharing formula for the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats in its alliance talks with the Congress.
The two parties had entered into an alliance in 2014 and the Congress contested 27 seats while the NCP put up candidates on 21 LS seats.