Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar withdrew from contesting the Lok Sabha election from Madha constituency in Solapur district. The former Union agriculture minister asserted that he has decided not to contest because he did not want three members of the Pawar family in the fray at the same time.
The Madha seat is held by his party leader Vijaysingh Mohite Patil. Pawar’s announcement at a press conference came after recent speculation that he may contest from there.
While, seat sharing talks between Congress and NCP on Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, Pawar said that he will not contest so that two of his family members daughter Supriya Sule and grandson Parth Pawar could contest instead.
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, which indicates that Pawar’s withdrawal is a clear indication that it has made a way for Parth Pawar, to contest the Lok Sabha election from Maval constituency near Pune.
“I thought that already two members of my family are contesting polls this time and hence I felt this is right time to take decision to not contest, since I already have contested 14 times in the past,” he said. According to Pawar most of the party members want Parth to contest from Mawal seat. “I believes new generation should be given a chance”, he added.
“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.
On asking if the fear of possible defeat made him rethink of contesting from Madha, Pawar said, “I have successfully faced 14 elections. Do you think the 15th will deter me?”
Rajya Sabha member Pawar, since 2014, had earlier been elected to Lok Sabha seven times. Six terms out of these were from his home constituency Baramati in Pune.
Later, he shifted to Madha, created in 2008 after delimitation of seats was implemented, in 2009. He chose not to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and entered parliament through the Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, in a rebuke to Pawar Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, I think this is a big victory for the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance. Pawar has understood correctly which way the political winds are blowing and has wisely refrained from contesting the poll.