Thu, 16 Jun 2022 11:51 AM IST
New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Wednesday opted himself out of the race for the Presidential election slated to be held on July 18. The 81-year-old Maratha strongman was offered to be the opposition's joint candidate for the Presidential polls by Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee.
"I sincerely appreciate the leaders of opposition parties for suggesting my name as a candidate for the election of the President of India, at the meeting held in Delhi. However, I like to state that I have humbly declined the proposal of my candidature," Pawar tweeted on Wednesday evening.
Why do opposition parties want Pawar to be their joint candidate for Presidential polls?
Pawar's name was pitched by Banerjee during the key opposition meet on Wednesday. The NCP's chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said opposition parties felt Pawar's candidature was the "most suited for the President's post owing to his long political experience and unshakable faith in the Indian Constitution".
Opposition leaders, Tapase said, felt that Pawar would find the support of many political parties that are allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Presidential polls.
"A joint meeting of the united opposition was called by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee to discuss and unitedly recommend one name as the Opposition's candidate for the post of the President of India. NCP thanks all the 17 political parties who unanimously recommended the name of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar as the Opposition's candidate," Tapase was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
Why did Pawar opt out of the Presidential polls race?
It is not clear yet why did Pawar opt himself out of the race for the Presidential elections. In his tweet on Wednesday, the NCP chief had said that he was happy to continue his service "for the well-being of the common man".
Following the meeting, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Binoy Viswam said Pawar refused to be the opposition's joint candidate citing health issues. "In today's opposition meeting, all parties proposed the name of Sharad Pawar for the Presidential poll, but he said he cannot take this up now due to his health. All parties requested him to reconsider his decision," he told news agency ANI.
If not Pawar, then who will be Oppn's joint candidate?
Besides Pawar, Banerjee proposed the names of Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the 77-year-old grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to be opposition's joint candidate for the polls.
While Abdullah has not commented on the matter yet, Gandhihas said that "it is too premature to comment" about the issue.
"Mamta Banerjee mentioned two more names besides Sharad Pawar, which include the names of Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi. However, on these two names, no other party leader expressed an opinion in this meeting," Jharkhand Lok Sabha MP Vijay Hansdak told ANI.