Talked of agreed candidate for Prez poll: Pawar

Sharad Pawar
New Delhi, Apr 23: NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who had caused a flutter by pitching for a "non-political" person as the candidate for the Presidential polls, today said he had only talked about an "agreed" candidate.

"I have not said this. I have spoken about agreed candidate," Pawar told reporters when asked to comment on his remark of a "non-political" candidate for the post of the President of India.

Pawar, who is also the Union Agriculture Minister, insisted that neither the UPA nor the NDA have the numbers and, therefore, a process of consultation was necessary.

"I have said this much that during this time looking at the UPA and the NDA strength we need to have a high-level dialogue and take a decision. I am sure concerned leadership will start the process. We need to think about agreed candidature at this moment," he said.

Reports from Mumbai had it that Pawar spoke of a "non-political" person as an "ideal" choice as the country's next President. The names of Vice President Hamid Ansari and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee are doing the rounds as nominees for the top post which falls vacant on July 24 when Pratibha Patil's term ends.

A new Vice-President has to be elected by August and a section of the opposition is favouring a 'give and take' approach between the UPA and the NDA.

The Congress has 31 per cent of the total votes against 24 per cent of the BJP in an electoral college that is expected to be of the size of 10,98,882. The UPA has a little over 40 per cent of the total votes as against 57 per cent it had in the last elections. The NDA has less than 30 per cent.


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