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Is Centre offering President's post to Sharad Pawar?

Is Centre offering President's post to Sharad Pawar?

Is there a larger deal being worked out between the government and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)? If speculation flying thick and fast in the corridors of power are anything to go by, the BJP-led Centre might offer NCP supremo Sharad Pawar the post of President of India.

President Ram Nath Kovind will stay put in the Rashtrapati Bhawan till 2022. In June 2017, the had BJP had announced Kovind as the party's choice to succeed Pranab Mukherjee. Subsequently, Kovind was sworn in as India's 14th President in July 2017.

The BJP, which came back to power with a massive mandate earlier this year, will be in power till 2024, which effectively means that a Presidential election will take place before the next general elections.

If speculation are to be believed, the BJP wants 79-year-old Pawar to succeed Kovind, and in return it would want NCP's support to form the government in Maharashtra.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, no party has enough numbers to form the government on its own. But if the BJP with 105 MLAs joins hands with the NCP, which has 54 legislators, together they can comfortably cross the majority mark of 145.

The buzz got even more weight when Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the NCP, along with the BJD, for their conduct inside the Parliament on the opening day of the winter session on Monday.

After meeting Sonia Gandhi on Monday, the Maratha strongman emerged out of 10 Jan Path to tell mediapersons that its for Shiv Sena and BJP to decide how to form their government, leaving Sena's Sanjay Raut to claim that "it needs 100 births" to understand what NCP President Pawar says.

Pawar met Modi in the Parliament on Wednesday and its after-effects were felt in far away Mumbai.

Informed sources said that if this arrangement takes shape, it will not only give a "befitting reply" to BJP's warring partner Shiv Sena, which acted pricey and set equal sharing of Chief Minister's post as a condition to form the government in Maharashtra, but will also be welcomed by many in the business circles.

Political circles are agog with speculation that some prominent corporate houses and business tycoons in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi are reportedly intervening to solve the current political crisis that has gripped Maharashtra.

These industrial houses are allegedly utilising the services of a few top politicians from various parties but with "fraternal connections" to fix an "arranged marriage" of the BJP with the NCP.

And if the BJP gets to keep the Chief Minister's post to itself, Pawar will NDA's Presidential backing, according to speculation doing the rounds.

Moreover, if the NCP chooses to enter the alliance, it will also get a share of ministerial berths, both in the state and Centre.

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Tags: Congress Shiv Sena NCP Sharad Pawar President Ram Nath Kovind