Pawar rules out mid-term polls as media creation

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Patna, Oct 11 (UNI) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today ruled out the possibility of mid-term elections in the wake of ongoing differences between the UPA and the Left parties over the Indo-US nuclear deal and blamed the media for disproportionately projecting the minor differences.

''Such differences are part and parcel of democracy and should not be seen otherwise,'' he told reporters here.

Reacting to BJP leader L K Advani's remark here yesterday that mid-term polls were slated for ''early next year'', Mr Pawar quipped, ''I did not know that Mr Advani is an astrologer too, besides being a senior leader of the BJP''.

Mr Pawar earlier reconstituted the Bihar unit of the party by appointing former Opposition leader Upendra Khuswaha as the new state NCP president.

Mr Khuswaha, who joined the NCP today with hundreds of his supporters after quitting the ruling JD(U) following differences with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, was given the ''sole responsibility'' of revamping the NCP in Bihar after constituting his new team within the next 15 days.

Hailing the contribution of Mr Khuswaha and his rich experience in Bihar politics, Mr Pawar hoped that with his taking over the mantle of the state party leadership, NCP would definitely ''emerge as a new force'' to reckon with in the next Lok Sabha and Assembly elecions here.

He also made it clear that as part of the NCP's national policy, they would remain a coalition partner of the Oppositon UPA in the state and under no circumstances join hands with the BJP and its allies.

However, he reiterated that if the mid-term elections were imposed on the country, the NCP was fully prepared to face the electoral challenges.

''Since the poll dates have ... picking up from para 9, line 1 of CA 8,POLITICS-BIHAR-NCP RESHUFFLE.


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