Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar sought to downplay party leader Jayant Patil’s “I desire to be chief minister” of Maharashtra comment.
Mr Patil, a cabinet minister in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government and state NCP president, recently said anyone who has spent a long time in politics must be wanting to become a chief minister and added it is natural for him, too, to aspire for the top post.
Mr Pawar, while in Kolhapur, said: “What should I do if I, too, feel so tomorrow? Nobody is going to appoint me as chief minister, so I don’t think about it.”
Recently, Mr Patil was asked whether he wishes to become the chief minister. He said: “I must be wishing to (become chief minister), right? Each politician wants to be a chief minister. But the decision which the party and Mr Pawar take is final for us. All want to be chief minister. Everyone who has worked (in politics) as long as I have (must be wanting the post). My voters, too, must be wanting me to be a chief minister.”
“I desire to be chief minister, but the situation and the number (of MLAs) are factors. We have 54 MLAs (in a house of 288). I don’t think it is possible to become chief minister with 54 MLAs,” he had said.
Mr Patil said the NCP will have to grow further and have a greater number of MLAs for it to get the chief minister’s post.
“If the number grows, the party becomes larger, then what Mr Pawar decides will happen,” he said.