Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar announced on Monday, 11 March, that he would not be contesting the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“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 (have) already contested 14 times in the past,” news agency ANI quoted Pawar as saying.
There had been speculation recently that Pawar may contest from the Madha constituency in the state, but he put it to rest saying he has decided not to contest from there. The Madha seat is held by his party leader Vijaysingh Mohite Patil.
“There was a lot of insistence (from within NCP) that I contest from Madha. However, my candidature hasn't been declared yet," Pawar said.
The NCP chief also indicated that Parth, son of his nephew and senior party leader Ajit Pawar, may be fielded from the Maval Lok Sabha constituency in Pune district.
"Many people are asking (me) to field Parth from Maval," the former Union minister said.
Asked if the fear of possible defeat made him rethink of contesting from Madha, Pawar said, "I have successfully faced 14 elections. Do you think a 15th will deter me?"
The NCP chief is currently a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha for Maharashtra.
In the 2009 general elections, Pawar was elected from the Madha Lok Sabha constituency. Before that, he was a long-standing Lok Sabha MP from the Baramati constituency. Since 2009, Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule has been representing the Baramati seat.
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