Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday categorically denied being in the race for next President of India, saying that he would continue to remain to active politics.
"Mai iss contest mein nahin hoon, mujhe rajneeti se itni jaldi retire hona nahin hai... Rashtrapati hone ke baad achhi haveli milti hai, baaki sab theek hai lekin aap (I am not in this contest, i do not want to retire from politics this soon.... After becoming President one gets good bungalow, but i won't get a chance to talk to media)," he told media.
Pranab Mukherjee's tenure as President will end on July 14, and the election has to take place before that.
Several names were making rounds for the post of next president like Sharad Pawar, senior JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and even actor Rajnikanth.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday hoped for a consensus candidate for the presidential election.
Congress along with other opposition aprties even held a meeting to decide on predential candidate but the meeting did not yield any result.
While Nitish Kumar was not present a the meet his alliance partner in Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav was present along with Sharad Yadav. As expected Mamata Banerjee, Sitaram Yechury, Sharad Pawar, Mayawati, Omar Abdullah, Kanimozhi took part in the meeting held at the Parliament.
Even the ruling BJP-led NDA alliance is yet to reveal the name of its candidates for the posts of President and Vice-President. In recent times, media reports suggested that the ruling alliance wants Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat as the next President of the country. However, Bhagwat clarified that he was not in the race. Several other names are also doing the rounds as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to choose his candidates for the two important posts.
Sections of the media are speculating that Governor of Jharkhand Draupadi Murmu could emerge as BJP's choice for president. Her career in politics spans over 2 decades. She will be the first tribal to be the President of India. She is the daughter of late Biranchi Narayan Tudu. Hailing from Odisha, she was also a former minister in the government there.