New Delhi, December 10: Leading media outlets on Thursday reported on the likely deliberations within the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to replace its leader and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with former Union Minister Sharad Pawar. Taking cognisance of the reports, Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) issued an official denial.

The NCP, in a statement issued to the press, said no such discussions are in the offing within the UPA. The proposal to replace Gandhi with Pawar has neither been tabled, nor is being considered to by the coalition's stakeholders at this stage, the party clarified. Sonia Gandhi Advised to Move Out of Delhi by Her Doctors to Avoid Air Pollution Owing to Her Chest Infection.

"There're unsubstantiated reports in media regarding NCP national president Sharad Pawar taking over as chairperson of UPA. Nationalist Congress party would like to clarify that there is no discussion within UPA partners regarding any such proposal," NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said.

Update by ANI

The reports, citing sources within the UPA, claimed that the 73-year-old Gandhi is facing age-related ailments which has hindered her responsibility to lead the coalition. Due to her ailments, the alliance of anti-BJP bloc is considering to replace Gandhi with Pawar, the reports claimed. The decision to find her replacement as the UPA chief has received the Congress president's assent, they further added.

Gandhi is leading the UPA since 2004, when the coalition was formed to replace the outgoing Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. The alliance succeeded in maintaining control over the central government for 10 years. In 2014, however, it suffered a crushing defeat with the tally of seats shrinking into double digits. This was followed by another rout in 2019.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 10, 2020 08:10 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website