Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik on Thursday said that reports of Sharad Pawar being a candidate for the presidential election next year are baseless.
Speaking to ANI Malik said that there has been no such talk in the party or with other parties.
"Reports of Sharad Pawar being a presidential-poll candidate are baseless. There are no presidential polls soon. Conditions after polls in 5 states will be reviewed. There has been no such talk in the party or with other parties. News is fabricated," said Nawab Malik.
Earlier in the day, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had ruled out being an opposition candidate for the presidential election next year amid speculations in sections of the media about such a possibility.
Election strategist Prashant Kishor's meeting with Sharad Pawar last month followed by his meeting with Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra earlier this week had led to such speculation in sections of media.
Pawar, a former chief minister of Maharashtra and a former union minister, said: "it is absolutely false" that he will be a candidate for the Presidential election.
He indicated that BJP has more than 300 MPs in Lok Sabha alone.
"I know what will be the result, given the party that has more than 300 MPs. I will not be a candidate for the presidential election," Pawar said. President Ram Nath Kovind's tenure will end next year.
Pawar said Kishor met him twice and there was no discussion regarding leadership for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the presidential election.
"Prashant Kishor met me twice, but we only talked about a company of his. No discussion was held regarding the leadership for the 2024 elections or the Presidential election. Prashant Kishor told me that he has left the field of formulating poll strategies," he said.
Pawar also said he will not assume any leadership in the next Lok Sabha poll.
"Nothing has been decided so far, be it the 2024 general elections or state elections. The election is far away, the political situation keeps changing. I am not going to assume any leadership in the 2024 elections," he said.