Today, Sharad Pawar took a U-turn on contesting in the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections, says that he had decided against the idea. The 78-years-old ex-Union Minister had created a stir in February 2019, by announcing a reprise. In 2012, Mr. Pawar had already retired from electoral politics. NCP has also cleared the decks for his contest from southwest Maharashtra’s Madha seat, compelling sitting lawmaker Vijaysinh Mohite Patil to give up the seat.

However, today at a press conference, the NCP leader told sources that he has changed his mind, hinted that family obligation played a role.

Mr. Pawar said, “I thought that already two members of my family are contesting polls this time and hence I felt this is the right time to take the decision to not contest, since I already have contested 14 times in the past.”

Supriya Sule, daughter of Mr. Pawar, is a lawmaker and will be again contesting. The second member he has referred to is his grand nephew Parth Pawar, who is son of NCP leader Ajit Pawar.

The party insiders have said that earlier decision of Mr. Pawar to contest was announced on February 20, was mainly to checkmate the entry of Parth. But the announcement of today indicates that the move was not that successful.

Sharad Pawar claims that most of the party members want his grand nephew Parth Pawar to contest from Mawal seat, adding that “I believe new generation should be given a chance.”

Under the seat-sharing talks with Congress, NCP will get 22-seats out of 48-seats in Maharashtra and the larger share, 26-seats, would go to Congress.

In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, NDA had won 41-seats, Congress-NCP combine in only 6-seats.

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