Pune, March 11: Former Union Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has opted out of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019. After meeting senior party leaders in Pune on Monday, the veteran politician said he would not be contesting the polls, and instead be paving way for the "next generation".
"I thought that already two members of my family are contesting polls this time and hence I felt this is right time to take decision to not contest since I already have contested 14 times in the past," said Pawar, who was rumoured to be contesting from the Madha constituency. Raj Thackeray Parroting Sharad Pawar's Script, Says Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
NCP insiders have confirmed that Pawar has paved way for his grand nephew Parth Pawar, who is certain to contest from the Maval constituency of western Maharashtra. The seat is part of the Pimpri-Chinchwad region, considered a stronghold of Parth's father and former deputy CM Ajit Pawar.
Parth, while speaking to reporters earlier, said he has expressed his will to the party top brass to contest from Maval constituency. Over the past few years, he has been active in organising protests and various political programmes in the seat.
In 2014, NCP had suffered a major blow as the Maval seat was wrested by Shiv Sena's Shrirang Barne. The victory, with a decisive margin of 1.70 lakh votes, dented the image of Ajit Pawar -- who is considered the tallest leader in the region. The then NCP candidate Rahul Narvekar stood a distant third in the poll race.