NCP confident Pawar will be PM

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{image-sharad pawar01_12122007.jpg}Mumbai, Dec 12: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) exuded confidence that Union Agriculture Minister and Party Chief Sharad Pawar, who is celebrating his 67th birthday today, will assume the post of Prime Minister.

''As the most capable and efficient leader and administrator, Mr Pawar has all the qualities to be the Prime Minister. But, right now, we are in the UPA coalition and the Prime Minister will be chosen through a consensus. Let's see how political equations emerge after elections,'' NCP General Secretary Tariq Anwar told reporters after launching ''Rashtrawadi Sankalp''- a fortnightly newspersons here on the occasion of Mr Pawar's birthday.

When asked about Mr L K Advani being projected as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate on the eve of Gujarat polls, Mr Anwar charged that the announcement was made to contain the power struggle in BJP and aimed to send a signal to the people of Gujarat that the Party was united and Mr Advani was the leader.

He said projections before the polls do not matter as it is the people who decide their rulers.

Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who was present on the occasion, rejected media reports that the NCP was willing to take help from Shiv Sena to make Mr Pawar the prime minister. ''The strength of the like minded parties is enough. Similarly, if some parties wish to support Mr Pawar for prime ministership, it will be welcomed. But, the situation will not arise. There is no question of compromising on our secular credentials,'' he said.


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