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‘Final decision in 1-2 days’: Sharad Pawar keeps suspense alive on retirement move

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Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar – who decided to step down from his post on May 2 – on Thursday said that he will take his final decision in “one or two” days.

Coming down specially to meet the protesting NCP activists outside the Y.B. Chavan Memorial Auditorium, he said that he has the highest regards for the sentiments of his party workers.

“I respect your emotions… I should have discussed my plans with all of you. But I knew you wouldn’t have permitted me to take the decision,” said Pawar in a soft tone.

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“Tomorrow (Friday) is the meeting of the committee and they will discuss the matter. I will take the final decision after consulting all and inform youa After two days, you will have no reason to continue this agitation,” he added.

Earlier, his daughter and MP Supriya Sule again met the workers and with folded hands, urged them to call off their agitation and hunger strike for the past 48 hours, which they undertook rejecting calls by the party’s senior brass.

State Party President Jayant Patil, who has categorically ruled himself out as the contender for the NCP top post, appealed to the protestors to withdraw their protests and wait for the panel meeting’s outcome on Friday.

Party activists and workers, along with their leaders have continued their agitation in different parts of the state demanding that Pawar should take back his decision to retire as party chief after 24 years.

Almost the entire party has unanimously stood solid on this demand, though Ajit Pawar has adopted a differing stance, saying that Pawar Sr. has taken the decision on his own and keeping in view his age and health all must respect it.

The NCP and state political circles are rife with speculation – in the event of Pawar not relenting on his step – who will be elected as the new party national President.

Some of the obvious names are Supriya Sule, plus Jayant Patil, Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel (who have already opted out of the race), ahead of the discussions by a mini-bus committee named by Pawar to choose his success.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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