Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief, J Jayalalithaa, supremo of AIADMK and Shiv Sena have expressed openly their preference for Sharad Pawar to be the top job. "He has the necessary maturity, wisdom and experience to be a prime ministerial candidate", Jayalalithaa said. Media reports suggest that even the Third Front too is in favour of the Maharashtrian, keeping Pawar's hopes alive.
Though Congress President Sonia Gandhi has spoken to NCP chief to ensure that he will support the UPA, he seems to have better plans. NCP leader Praful Patel said, "Leaders of every political party want to be the prime minister. We have fought election as UPA and our first priority is to form a secular government and to ensure that Sharad Pawar plays a crucial role in it".
However NCP leader DP Tripathi said, "Sharad Pawar can emerge as a consensus candidate of non-Congress, non-BJP parties.. There is no harm in that."
Like BJP's LK Advani, this might be the last chance for Pawar too for top job. But this can materialise only if the Congress and BJP can make it below the 200- seat mark.