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Options of Pawar becoming PM open, indicates NCP

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D-P-TripathiNCP on Wednesday was non-committal on whether SharadPawar will work in a UPA government headed by Rahul Gandhi but indicated all options of the party supremo becoming prime minister are open depending on “circumstances”.

“Till now the Congress has not declared its prime ministerial candidate. A leader heading the Congress campaign (does not mean PM candidate)… There is a difference between the two,” party spokesman D P Tripathi told reporters.

Asked what will Pawar do if Rahul is made the PM candidate, he said, “There are no ifs and buts… Let them do, then only we will react.”

However, he said it was for the Congress to elect its leader. On being asked whether the NCP was in favour of prime ministership for Pawar, Tripathi said the party does not have the numbers.

“We are a national party, but we are aware of our limitations… We are a small party with a very big leader. Parliamentary democracy is a numbers game,” he said.

“It all depends upon circumstances, options will always remain open,” he said in reply to questions on the issue. To a query whether the NCP was putting pressure on the Congress through such replies, Tripathi said, “If their pressures had worked, then there would have been lot of good (in the UPA).”

NCP is the second largest party in the Congress-led UPA and the two are also sharing power in Maharashtra since 1999 soon after Pawar parted ways with the Congress on the issue of foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi.

Tripathi also demanded that a meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee should be convened soon as a session of Parliament is nearing and plans to bring a lot of anti-graft bills are on the cards.

The NCP has already announced that Pawar will contest the RajyaSabha elections this time and will file his nomination in Mumbai on January 24.

Tripathi said Pawar is the only leader in the country who has successfully contested LokSabha and assembly polls since 1967.

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