Nagpur: A day after the Opposition parties held a meeting to discuss the Presidential election, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said he was not in the race but was hopeful that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would take the Opposition into confidence and find a consensus candidate for the President’s post.
Mr Pawar, who was in Nagpur to attend birthday celebrations of the Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari said, “Ideally, for such high post as President of India, elections should be avoided. It’s for the ruling party to facilitate a consensus candidate. So far, only once a fierce election for the post was held during Indira Gandhi’s regime.”
Mr Pawar evaded questions on media reports suggesting that he could be the consensus candidate for the President’s post as he has a good rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has friends in all the parties.
According to Mr Pawar, the Opposition parties are concerned about the Kashmir situation since the causalities of security personnel as well as civilians were rising rapidly. “Over 70 people have died, 1600 sustained injuries, hundreds have lost vision partially, and five have lost their eye-sight in pellet firing by army men. The situation is extremely sensitive but not out of control. The issue is above party politics and if possible PM Modi should start talking with stakeholders in Kashmir. A.B. Vajpayee had started the dialogue process, and it did yield results, as the Valley was quiet for a long time,” said Mr Pawar.