The NCP on Wednesday said that even as the leaders of 17 opposition parties urged party chief Sharad Pawar to be the joint opposition candidate for the presidential election, he once again declined the offer and requested the parties to propose some other names during the meeting to be held next week in Delhi.
The NCP, which is part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, also thanked the 17 opposition parties for suggesting Mr Pawar’s name for the presidential poll.
“NCP thanks all the 17 opposition parties for unanimously recommending the name of NCP president Sharad Pawar as the presidential candidate of the united opposition. But Pawar saheb has declined to be the candidate for the same. Next meeting to discuss the more names will be held in Delhi on June 21,” NCP’s chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said in a statement.
Leaders of 17 opposition parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party, NCP, DMK, RJD and the Left parties on Wednesday attended the over two-hour-long meeting called by the Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to build consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJP-led NDA in the presidential election.
The leaders of several opposition parties urged Mr Pawar to be the joint opposition candidate for the election, but the veteran leader once again declined the offer.
“All the opposition parties feel that the candidature of Pawar is most suited for the president’s post owing to his long political experience and his unshakable faith in Indian democracy. The leaders feel that Pawar’s name will find favour with many other political parties who are currently with the BJP,” Mr Tapase said.
“However, Pawar declined to be the candidate for the president’s post and requested all the leaders of the opposition to think of other names regarding the choice of candidates when the leaders meet once again on June 21 in Delhi,” he added.
Polls to elect the successor to incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind would be held on July 18.
The BJP-led NDA is comfortably placed to win the presidential election, with its vote share touching the 50 per cent mark of the total electors.
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