"Pawar is not running for the Prime Minister's post," NCP general secretary and Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Tariq Anwar told reporters here in reply to a question.
"At the same time, the NCP chief has all the credentials required for the PM's post and his experience in public life is second to none among all political leaders in the country," he said. Anwar, a close aide of Pawar, said "It is the number game that decides who becomes the Prime Minister and in the NCP chief's case, he does not have the numbers with him."
If Pawar had got the numbers in terms of MPs, he would have definitely become the Prime Minister, he said. On Shinde's praise for Pawar whom he had described as his "political guru", Anwar said that the Union Home Minister's remarks were made in his personal capacity.
Shinde had worked as a state minister during Pawar's tenure as Maharashtra Chief Minister and so his remarks praising the NCP should be seen as his respect towards the latter and nothing more, Anwar said.
On the NCP's strategy for the general elections to be held this year, the Union Minister said that his party was seized with the issue and the same would be finalized by March next.
In Bihar's case, Anwar said that his party was part of the UPA and it will go with whichever alliance the Congress decides to work out in the state.