Shiv Sena’s motormouth leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar should be considered by all political parties for the 2022 presidential election.
Claiming that they will have enough numbers by 2022 ‘on their side’ to decide the presidential candidate, Raut said: “Sharad Pawar is a senior leader of the country. I think his name should be considered by all political parties for the post of President, the election for which will be held in 2022”.
Asked about the opinion of other political parties on fielding Sharad Pawar as the next President, Shiv Sena leader Raut said he has “merely proposed” Pawar’s name.
“I think other political parties can also propose other senior candidates for the post of President. By 2022, there will be enough numbers on our side to decide the presidential candidate,” said Raut.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had emerged as the facilitator between the Shiv Sena and the Congress during the 2019 Maharashtra political crisis. His manipulation and determination ensured his resurgence in Maharashtra politics.
The NCP had not fared well in three consecutive elections – 2014 Lok Sabha election, 2014 Maharashtra Assembly election and 2019 Lok Sabha election. Many had declared the 79-year-old NCP stalwart a finished politician.
After the Maharashtra assembly election results were announced in 2019 and the Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP, Sharad Pawar took the centre stage and used this to his advantage. He was the link between the Congress and the Shiv Sena and utilising this situation to his advantage, he “manipulated” both the parties to emerge as the leadfoot in the alliance.
The portfolio allocation shows that the balance of power in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi has already tilted in the favour of the NCP and Sharad Pawar. The NCP has been successful in not only getting 16 ministerial posts but also retained the most crucial ministries.
In the 288-member assembly, Shiv Sena has 56 seats, NCP has 54 and Congress has 44 seats. Despite having the highest number, Shiv Sena seems to have been reduced to a non-significant alliance partner in the coalition as even Congress got crucial departments like revenue and PWD out of its tally of 10. Besides the CM post, Shiv Sena has managed to get 14 other ministerial posts while it retained urban development, agriculture and industries.