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Pawar can be PM if he joins NDA: Manohar Joshi

Sanjay Jog/Nagpur 13 Dec 12 | 01:28 AM

Shiv Sena leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi on Wednesday reiterated that Union agriculture minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar can become the Prime Minister provided he joins the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“Sharad Pawar has unique skills and abilities to bring together different groups and parties from the Opposition in particular if he joins the NDA. He has immense potential and experience to hold the Prime Minister's post. It will be a proud moment if a Marathi manoos makes it to the post of Prime Minister," he said.

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Joshi had recently made this suggestion but it had been rejected by the NCP. His fresh proposal came today — the day Pawar turned 72. The NCP chief was discharged from a hospital in Nagpur on Wednesday after a minor surgery.

By raising the issue again Joshi has tried to reach out to Pawar in a bid to increase the number of NDA allies and thereby further step up ongoing efforts to provide an effective alternative against the Congress ahead of the 2014 parliamentary elections.

But the NCP again rejected Joshi's proposal. “There is no question of Pawar joining the NDA. Pawar and NCP have already proven their secular credentials while some of the constituents of the BJP-led NDA are communal forces. NCP is not power hungry but is committed to ideology and certain ideals," Nawab Malik, NCP spokesman, told Business Standard.

A minister from the NCP, who did not want to be identified, recalled that Pawar has already announced that the party would continue to remain with the UPA and in Maharashtra continue its 13-year-old alliance with the Congress. Pawar has also indicated that the two parties would together contest the next parliamentary and assembly elections scheduled for 2014. This view is shared by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

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