ncp: Opposition Sharad Pawar play heats up after NCP projects party chief as PM material

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The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Sunday celebrated party chief Sharad Pawar’s 81st birthday by projecting him as an alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 polls. Both junior and senior party leaders – from party veterans like Chhagan Bhujbal to new-comers like NCP MP Amol Kolhe – batted for the NCP chief to be the country’s future prime minister.

Bhujbal said that Pawar has the capability to take every one (other political parties) in the country along.

“Today, a lot of the country’s opposition is looking to him (Pawar) with hope. The miracle you (Pawar) have done in Maharashtra (by cobbling together a coalition of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP to form a government), you should do the same miracle in 2024 in Delhi,” said Bhujbal at a party programme organised in Mumbai.

Kolhe, the NCP MP from Shirur, said party functionaries need to work hard to make Pawar the prime minister. “The country needs your (Pawar) guidance today. If Gujarat, a state which has 26 MPs can have their prime minister, then why can’t a state with 48 MPs (Maharashtra) have a prime minister? Why can’t he (Pawar) occupy the topmost post in the country (the PM’s chair). We have to think and work for it,” Kolhe said.

Later, Rohit Pawar, grand nephew of the NCP chief, told mediapersons, “This is not a fight for the post (of the PM) but for preserving democracy and if Pawar sahib takes the lead and if other leaders support him, then there would be an alternative to the BJP.”

The NCP leaders’ statements come just days after Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met Pawar where she sought to project herself as a leader to head an opposition alliance against the BJP for the 2024 polls.

The NCP, since its inception, had always projected Pawar as a PM candidate during the parliamentary polls whenever the party felt that there was going to be a hung Parliament. In several NCP bastions, votes were sought by projecting Pawar as the PM. This continued till the 2009 parliamentary polls. Later, Ajit Pawar used to publicly chide party leaders for projecting the NCP chief as the PM candidate or himself (Ajit Pawar) as the chief minister candidate as it used to unnerve its allies (mainly the Congress) who used to then work against the NCP in the elections.

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