The veteran politician Sharad Pawar today dismissed as “fake news” any speech about him assuming the leadership of the opposition UPA alliance from the hands of the president of Congress, Sonia Gandhi. The speculation that has swirled in recent days intensified when the ally of the CPN chief in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena, endorsed him for the role.
“That I am leading the UPA is not true. The media is spreading false news,” said Sharad Pawar, who will turn 80 tomorrow.
His claim came hours after Shiv Sena said that Congress has been weakened and that the opposition should come together and make firm decisions about new leadership.
“We will be happy if Sharad Pawar becomes the president of the UPA. But I heard that he rejected it. He is a great leader. We will support him if such a proposal comes to light officially,” said Sanjay Raut, whose party was previously part of the Alliance. National Democratic Party (NDA) led by the BJP, but now ruling Maharashtra in association with the ideologically opposed NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) and Congress.
He added that Congress was a “great party” and that these are important things to decide.
“The UPA should be strengthened. The Congress is a great party, I admit, but it could not get the role of leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha. We have to strengthen the UPA. The way the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi of the Seine , NCP and Congress) in Maharashtra, will there be such training in the country? And if so, who will lead it? These are all important issues … Little by little we can solve them, “Raut said.
Even before Mr. Pawar’s denial today, his PNC had made a clarification and said that talk was floating around as a distraction from the mass protests by farmers near Delhi.
“The Nationalist Congress Party would like to clarify that there is no discussion among UPA partners regarding such a proposal,” NCP chief spokesman Mahesh Tapase said Thursday.
“The reports that appear in the media appear to have been seeded by vested interests to divert attention from the current agitation of farmers,” he added.
Some reports had suggested that 74-year-old Sonia Gandhi, who was forced to assume the interim presidency of Congress after her son Rahul Gandhi resigned last year because of the party’s dismal performance in national elections, was inclined to resign. coalition leadership. But sources close to Sonia Gandhi emphatically deny such reports, saying it is not a discussion or that Congress, the largest party in the opposition coalition, is resigning the presidency.
The Shiv Sena said that anything can happen in politics and that Pawar was capable of playing a bigger national role.
“Politics is unpredictable. You never know what will happen next. Pawar has vast experience, knowledge of the issues before the country and knows the pulse of the people,” Raut said Thursday, before the PNC clarification .