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Sharad Pawar predicts hung-verdict in 2019 Lok Sabha polls

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Mumbai, Oct 24: Likening the current political scenario to the one in 2004, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar predicted that no single party would get a majority in the 2019 elections.

Speaking at the 'Mumbai Manthan' organized by India Today group on Tuesday (October 23), Pawar stressed that instead of a grand national alliance, the opposition parties should focus on state specific alliances.

Sharad Pawar predicts hung-verdict in 2019 Lok Sabha polls

"Today's political situation is much more like the one in 2004. It does not seem possible for a single party to remain in power in 2019. No party would have that mandate...It will be like 2004 when no party got the majority but a government under Manmohan Singh was formed and continued to rule for 10 years," Pawar said.

Also Read | Sharad Pawar predicts BJP, Shiv Sena alliance for LS polls, but not in Maharashtra

He said in 2004, the Bharatiya Janata Party was led by Vajpayee and at that time they said "there was no alternative" to him.

"Compare Vajpayee's stature and leadership with the present PM's stature and leadership. I feel Vajpayee was one of the tallest leaders of the BJP. I don't think that is the situation in that party today," Pawar said.

In May, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) patriarch Sharad Pawar along with a host of leaders from various opposition parties attended the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. The coming together of so many parties under one platform after the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance managed to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power in Karnataka was seen as a display of the Opposition unity and strength against the saffron party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Also Read | Never supported anybody in Rafale deal, would never do: Sharad Pawar

The big polls are likely to take place in April/May next year, but all parties are already busy preparing for it wholeheartedly. While the BJP is confident of repeating its 2014 victory in 2019 too, the Congress and other opposition parties are looking to form an alliance against the powerful saffron party.

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