Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday announced in Pune that he will contest the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for April-May 2019. He said that his grand-nephew Parth Pawar would not be given an NCP ticket.
The veteran politician’s reaction comes after Hindustan Times on Monday published an interview with Parth Pawar, son of NCP leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, where the third-generation Pawar family member said that he is ready to contest the LS polls if the party chose to field him.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function held to unveil a statue of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji on the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) campus located at Loni Kalbhor, Pawar said that besides him, his daughter Supriya Sule would also contest the Lok Sabha polls.
“Parth, Rohit and Ajit will not contest the election. I am going to contest,” Pawar said, in response to a question that suggested he was drawing criticism from other political parties for the dynasty politics evident in Baramati’s ‘first family’.
While Parth is an aspiring politician, Rohit Pawar, another third-generation member of the family and grandson of Sharad Pawar’s elder brother Appasaheb, is already a member of the zilla panchayat.
The NCP chief said, “Sushil Kumar Shinde and I are going to contest the Lok Sabha election.”
While senior leaders had already made it clear that Pawar will be contesting polls from Madha, it was for the first time that the party chief himself made it clear. Sharad Pawar had represented the Solapur district constituency from 2009 to 2014, following which he chose to go into the Rajya Sabha, stating at the time that he wouldn’t return to the lower house of Parliament.
Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde will now contest the Solapur seat. Shinde, who was also present at the press interaction, nodded in agreement with Pawar’s statements, without making any comment.
During the interview with HT, Parth had said that he was interested in working at the Centre rather than the state. The 28-year-old, however, clarified that he doesn’t mind waiting till 2024, if the party decides to field some other candidate. Earlier, Ajit had stated that if needed, his son will contest election from the Maval Lok Sabha constituency.