New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar turned down an offer to contest for President’s post, saying that he “still has an active political innings to play”. The meeting called by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee turned chaotic over a last-minute resolution against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reported NDTV.
The absence of five key parties in the meeting raised several eyebrows about the opposition unity. According to sources, Mamata Banerjee was accused of springing on the parties without notice. Several leaders though said that the only agenda for the meeting was the presidential election.
As many as 22 parties were invited by Mamata Banerjee but only 16 attended the meeting. They fixed June 21 as the deadline for naming a presidential candidate. Mamata, Pawar and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will consult with other parties to name a consensus candidate.
“I sincerely appreciate the leaders of opposition parties for suggesting my name as a candidate for the election of the President of India, at the meeting held in Delhi. However I like to state that I have humbly declined the proposal of my candidature,” Sharad Pawar said via a tweet.