For Sharad Pawar, PM’s post so near yet so far (Profile)May 15th, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) Public denials notwithstanding, Maharashtra strongman and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar may be nurturing the ambition to become prime minister.
The stakes are high for the 69-year-old veteran politician.
In 1991, Pawar’s name was discussed as a contender for the top post after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. But the Congress preferred to back P.V. Narasimha Rao, who made Pawar the defence minister.
Pawar continued hobnobbing with national and state politics at various occasions, going back to Maharashtra as chief minister in 1993, and unsuccessfully contesting for the Congress president’s post against the late Sitaram Kesri in 1997.
A couple of years later, in 1999, when Maharashtra was on the verge of ending the saffron rule of the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (SS-BJP), Pawar suddenly parted ways with the Congress.
Taking the oft-repeated line of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin, he and others formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The NCP aligned with the Congress later and trounced the SS-BJP in the 2004 assembly elections, while the NCP also made its presence felt at the national level.
After building the party into a formidable force in Maharashtra, moving shoulder-to-shoulder with the Congress, Pawar may be feeling sure-footed enough to dabble in the possibility of being prime minister.
While political circles rule out the possibility solely on the strength of the NCP, a lot would depend on post-result permutations and combinations.
NCP leader and union minister Praful Patel Friday said that the Congress was the largest grouping within the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), and “the prime minister would be theirs”.
But so far, Pawar has managed to keep everybody guessing over his next move, his next purported ally or probable foe, his suspected ’secret’ deals with other parties even at the cost of the Congress or other UPA constituents.
- Dalit party upset with Sena-BJP in Maharashtra - Mar 17, 2012
- Ajit Pawar attacks Bal Thackeray - May 31, 2011
- Congress, NCP stand-off ends with decision on better coordination (Roundup) - Jul 25, 2012
- Pawar meets Sonia to discuss 'coalition issues' - Jul 20, 2012
- Impasse with Congress could end, signals NCP - Jul 25, 2012
- PM praises Pawar, UPA row ebbs for now (Roundup) - Jul 20, 2012
- PM willing to talk to NCP 'on any issue' (Lead) - Jul 25, 2012
- Congress, NCP stand-off ends with decision on better coordination (Intro-Roundup) - Jul 26, 2012
- Ally trouble continues to dog Congress - Jul 21, 2012
- Congress tries hard to mollify NCP, Pawar unswayed (Intro Roundup) - Jul 21, 2012
- After Trinamool, NCP adds to Congress's coalition travails (Lead) - Jan 09, 2012
- Advani on 'weak' PM: Just calling a spade a spade (Roundup) - Oct 21, 2011
- Ready to talk to NCP: Manmohan Singh - Jul 25, 2012
- NCP declares truce, alliance to have more 'coordination' (Lead) - Jul 25, 2012
- NCP declares truce, alliance to have more 'coordination' - Jul 25, 2012
Tags: assembly elections, bharatiya janata party, congress president sonia gandhi, defence minister, nationalist congress party, ncp, p v narasimha rao, permutations and combinations, political circles, praful patel, progressive alliance, rajiv gandhi, secret deals, sharad pawar, shiv sena, sitaram kesri, state politics, strongman, union minister, veteran politician