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Sharad Pawar Will Decide on Contesting in Prez Polls After Seeing Numbers: NCP

Elections for the next President will be held on 18 July, and counting, if required, will be held three days after.

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Sharad Pawar Will Decide on Contesting in Prez Polls After Seeing Numbers: NCP
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Amid speculations that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar will be the Opposition-backed candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, the party has said that the leader will take a call on contesting elections only if they have required numbers.

Elections for the next president of India will be held on 18 July, and counting, if required, will be held three days after. President Ram Nath Kovind's term is set to end on 24 July.

Senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal has said that the NCP chief was not keen on becoming the president.

Speaking to NDTV, he said, "Pawar would not like to sit at one place after becoming Governor or President. He does not like protocol much. He likes meeting people in the villages, sitting with farmers in field."

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He further questioned if the Opposition had the required numbers.

"No doubt, if Pawar saheb becomes President of India, every Marathi person's chest will swell with pride. But the question is: Do we have the required numbers?" he asked, adding that the NCP chief, who has not lost a single election, doesn't want to risk losing a poll.

'I'm Not in the Race': Pawar

At a party meeting held on Tuesday, 14 June, Pawar himself had denied the possibility of him contesting in the presidential elections.

"I am not in the race, I will not be opposition candidate for the President's post," the 81-year-old former Union minister and Maharashtra chief minister said at the meet, reported The Times of India.

Meanwhile, several Opposition parties, including NCP allies Congress, Shiv Sena, Aam Aadmi Party and Trinamool Congress, have extended support for his candidature in the polls.

On Wednesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is set to hold a meet with the Opposition leaders to discuss a joint strategy for the presidential polls. She had also met Pawar on Tuesday and tried to convince him to take part in the elections.

Pawar also met Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, and NCP leaders Praful Patel and P C Chacko, and told them that he was not keen to contest the polls.

"He has other political commitments," said D Raja, after meet with Pawar. NCP sources have reportedly said that Pawar is busy in stitching an united Opposition front for the Lok Sabha elections 2024.

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Telangana CM and Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrashekhar Rao is also putting in efforts to gather Opposition parties against the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Despite having political differences with TMC, the left parties will also attend the Opposition meeting convened by the Bengal CM, Raja said.

The Congress too has deputed senior leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Jairam Ramesh to attend the meeting.

How Do the Presidential Elections Work?

The upcoming presidential elections will have 4,809 electors, comprising 4,033 members of legislative Assemblies and 776 members of parliament.

Of the MPs, 233 are Rajya Sabha members and 543 are from the Lok Sabha.

Further, no elector can subscribe, whether as proposer or as seconder, more than one nomination paper in an election.

In case of a violation, the elector's signature will be invalidated on all nomination papers except the first one that is delivered.

The National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP is short of 13,000 votes this time.

(With inputs from NDTV and The Times of India.)

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Topics:  NCP   Presidential Polls   NCP Sharad Pawar 

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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