MUMBAI: The NCP has pitched its president Sharad Pawar as a likely candidate for the post of president in 2022 and has received immediate support from the Shiv Sena. Pawar, who forged the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government by bringing together the NCP, the Shiv Sena and the Congress to keep the BJP out of power in Maharashtra, is also known as a leader with wide acceptance across the political spectrum.
Senior NCP leader Majeed Memon on Monday backed Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut’s suggestion that NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s name is projected as the Presidential candidate. “It will also turn the tide against BJP in the 2024 general elections,” he tweeted. “The move can pay political dividends. BJP is losing one state after another. The opposition will have a majority to back him in the race,” claimed Memon.
Sanjay Raut said that by 2022, there will be enough numbers “on our side” to seal the race. Pawar is a veteran politician who has spent five and half-decade in politics and a four-time chief minister of Maharashtra. Besides, he was Defence minister and the longest-serving agriculture minister at the Centre. He also had a parallel momentous stint as one of the most successful president of Board for Cricket in India. Pawar’s name had come upon earlier occasions as a possible prime ministerial candidate at the head of a united opposition. A source in NCP said that if Opposition decides to field its candidate, Pawar has all the potential to be a consensus. “We are working in that direction. Let’s see how it pans out. We are confident of making our leader president,” he added, requesting anonymity.
Uddhav to meet industrialists
CM Uddhav Thackeray has scheduled an interaction with captains of industry on February 7 to identify ways for Maharashtra to emerge as a trillion dollar economy by 2025. Indust-rialists Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra, Adi Godrej, Sajjan Jindal, Uday Kotak, Deepak Parekh, Gautam Singhania, Baba Kalyani are among the influential people, whom the CM and industry minister Subhash Desai are eager to meet. The meeting is also tailored to pare BJP criticism that the Sena led MVA is anti-industry.