Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that the NCP chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar could be the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate to strongly take on PM Narendra Modi in the 2024 general elections. “It will be difficult to fight PM Modi unless there is an able and effective opposition leader against him. Sharad Pawar is a senior leader and he could become the face of the Opposition in 2024,” proposed Raut on Wednesday.
Earlier, Raut had pitched for Pawar as the UPA chairperson.
However, a few hours after Raut’s statement, Pawar clarified that he would not assume any leadership role in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. “Nothing has been decided so far, be it the 2024 general elections or state elections. The election is far away and the political situation keeps changing. I am not going to assume any leadership in the 2024 elections,” he maintained.
He also rubbished reports about him being the Opposition’s presidential candidate in the 2024 Presidential Elections. The NCP chief termed such media reports as ‘false’, saying that the party with 300 parliamentarians would have the upper hand.
“It is absolutely false that I will be a candidate for the Presidential election. I know what the result will be, given the party that has more than 300 MPs. I will not be a candidate for the Presidential election,” said Pawar.
On his meetings with the poll strategist Prashant Kishor, the NCP chief said, “Prashant Kishor met me twice, but we only talked about his company. No discussion was held on leadership for the 2024 elections or the Presidential election. Prashant Kishor told me that he had quit the field of formulating poll strategies.”
Last month, Kishor had said there were no discussions regarding the third front. “A front formed by a few parties is not enough to beat Modi. All third and fourth fronts are futile exercises against Modi,” he said.
NCP chief spokesman and Maharashtra Minister of Minority Affairs Nawab Malik also said, “There has been no discussion within the party so far, regarding the Presidential poll. If someone’s circulating this news, then I’d like to clarify that it’s not true.”