Pawar won't contest Lok Sabha polls, to take RS route

PawarTalking to reporters later, Pawar said, "I have been contesting and winning elections for 47 years. But now people want new faces and NCP will promote youth and women," he said. IE

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar today ruled out contesting the coming Lok Sabha election, saying "people wanted new faces", and is all set to take the Rajya Sabha route.

"I have decided to stop. This will enable me to devote maximum time to party work. I am not averse to be in Rajya Sabha. Biennial elections to the upper house of Parliament will be held in March," the 73-year-old Union Agriculture Minister said addressing NCP workers here.

Talking to reporters later, Pawar said, "I have been contesting and winning elections for 47 years. But now people want new faces and NCP will promote youth and women," he said.

The Maharashtra strongman, who had after the recent assembly polls debacle said that Congress and its allies should ponder over the outcome, today asserted that "there is no need to be demoralised by the election results."

He said that Aam Admi Party's success could be a fluke and advised his party workers not to affected.

"In Assam, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta fought elections for the first time and became Chief Minister at a very young age. After that I have not heard about him in the last 25 years. Such "Aap-ghats" (accident in Marathi) do happen in politics. So don't lose heart," Pawar said addressing NCP workers here.

Delhi Assembly elections and national elections are two different things, he said. "There is no need to worry about the Delhi assembly results. Such waves come and go," he said. However, he maintained that "people need decisive leaders. People support those who take decisions."

Pawar, who parted ways with Congress in 1999 on foreign origin issue of Sonia Gandhi, is sharing power with her party in Maharashtra for over 14 years and has been a part of the UPA at the Centre since 2004. When asked about projection of Rahul Gandhi as Prime Ministerial candidate and whether NCP will accept him as the UPA leader, Pawar said naming a candidate for PM's post was not his prerogative. "Every party has the right to decide its leader," he said.

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