Manmohan is not UPA’s prime ministerial candidate: Pawar

April 14th, 2009 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Panaji, April 14 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar Tuesday refused to endorse Manmohan Singh as the prime ministerial candidate for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and said the allies will decide on the top post after the election results.
Manmohan Singh was the Congress’ choice for the post of prime minister and that need not mean he was the UPA’s choice too, Pawar told reporters here.

“The decision on who will be the prime minister will be taken after the constituents of the UPA meet after the election results. The UPA’s prime ministerial candidate will be chosen during these post-poll deliberations,” he said.

“The Congress has a right to promote its candidate for the prime minister’s post. But, as I said, all the UPA members will come together after the elections results are declared and decide who will become prime minister,” the NCP chief said.

Asked if he was in contention for the top post, Pawar said he would reveal his cards only after the results. “Let us see after the results. We will see what the other members say.”

Pawar maintained he was committed to the UPA and that media reports, which said he was also in touch with the Third Front, were off the mark.

“I have not gone with the Third Front at all. My party has an electoral understanding with the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa. The BJD has nothing to do with the UPA or the NDA or the Third Front and the NCP’s arrangement with them is Orissa-specific,” Pawar said.

The agriculture minister also hinted that the ties between the Congress/UPA and the Left parties could improve in the near future.

“We separated on ideological grounds. There was no dishonesty on their (the Left parties’) part,” he said, referring to the Left’s withdrawal of support to the UPA government over the India-US nuclear deal last year.

“Ultimately, if such a situation comes, the Left will never support the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and we will have to take their support if need arises,” he said.

Pawar was in Goa for a day to campaign for NCP candidate from North Goa Jitendra Deshprabhu.

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