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NCP chief Sharad Pawar sends shockwaves with his move to step down as party chief

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Mumbai: In a surprising development, veteran politician Sharad Pawar on Tuesday announced that he was stepping down as president of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The move has sent shockwaves across the political spectrum not just in Maharashtra politics, but in the national politics.

“I have decided to step down as the president of the NCP,” Pawar said at the launch of the second edition of his autobiography “Lok Majhe Sangati, much too loud exclamations from the gathering.

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The 82-year-old member of parliament in Rajya Sabha said that he would no longer contest elections, as after a decades-long career, one must think about stopping somewhere.

“I have three years’ tenure remaining in Rajya Sabha. I will not contest elections henceforth. In these three years, I will concentrate more on issues concerning the state and the country. I will not take on any additional responsibilities… One must not be greedy,” he said.

Pawar, however, made it clear that he was not taking a backseat from politics.

“My colleagues, even though I am stepping down from the post of president, I am not retiring from public life,” he said.

He also announced a panel of senior party leaders would draw a future course of action.

Pawar’s decision comes against the backdrop of speculation over his nephew and former Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s next move, with a few claiming that he might join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Ajit Pawar, who was also sharing the dais with Sharad Pawar on Tuesday, said that the decision has come given his age and health.

“Pawar Saheb himself had said about the necessity of change in guard a few days back. We should see his decision in the light of his age and health also. Everyone has to decide according to time. Pawar Saheb has taken a decision and he won’t take it back,” he said.


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