NCP chief Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar
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Several media reports on Thursday claimed that NCP chief Sharad Pawar may replace Congress president Sonia Gandhi as United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson. However, putting an end to the speculation, Pawar has on Friday termed these reports as "false news". "It was a false news. Do not run such false news," he said.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut earlier said that they (Sena) will be happy if Sharad Pawar becomes UPA chairman. He also expressed confidence in Pawar and said that he is capable of taking a bigger national role.

"We'll be happy if Pawar sir becomes UPA chairman. But I've heard that he's personally refused it. We will support him if such a proposal comes to the fore officially. Congress is weak now so the opposition needs to come together & strengthen the UPA," Raut said.

"Politics is unpredictable. You never know what will happen next. Pawar has vast experience, knowledge of the issues before the country and knows "the pulse of the people", Raut added.

However, the NCP had only Thursday rubbished the 'unsubstantiated reports'."The Nationalist Congress Party would like to clarify that there is no discussion within UPA partners regarding any such proposal," NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said. "The reports appearing in the media seems to be have planted by vested interests to divert the attention from the ongoing farmers' agitation," he added.

Meanwhile, the NCP chief also spoke about the ongoing farmers' protest and asked the government to not test their tolerance. "We insist the Government of India that the farmer is the 'annadata' (food provider) of the country, his tolerance should not be tested," he said.

He added that the three contentious farm bills were passed in a "hurried" manner in the Parliament despite the opposition parties calling for a detailed discussion on them.

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