Congress honcho Sonia Gandhi recently offered Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar a proposal to become the Opposition’s candidate for the Presidential elections that would take place before July 25, 2017. But, according to NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik, Pawar has refused Gandhi’s offer on Wednesday (May 17). He said, “Congress President Sonia Gandhi recently in a meeting on April 27 had approached Sharad Pawar to considering contesting for the country’s Presidential elections on behalf of the Opposition. But, Pawar refused to accept the offer. He however assured Soniaji that he would work towards getting an Opposition candidate elected as the President.”
He further added, “Pawar saheb has been insisting on a joint Opposition candidate.” The Congress president has been talking to different Opposition party leaders to field a common candidate opposite the BJP nominee for presidential polls.
Reacting to the Gandhi’s offer, Pawar reasoned media persons at Solapur by saying, “My party does not have enough strength. Election can be in harmony if Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a dialogue with the Opposition parties. I am not in the race for the post of President. I cannot dream of the post when my party has only 14 MPs.”
Sources in the NCP said that the party was not convinced that the Opposition could manage to gather enough votes to get its candidate elected. “Between the ruling and opposition parties, it is the BJP that stands better chances of winning presidential election. Also, NCP would vote for the Opposition candidate,” said a party leader.