NCP president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said he has recommended the name of his party spokesman Tariq Anwar for a ministerial post in the proposed Cabinet reshuffle at the Centre. He also reiterated that he would not fight the next general election, but added that he would continue to lead and
work for the party.
"In response to the Prime Minister's suggestion to submit name for the proposed reshuffle, I have recommended the name of Tariq Anwar on behalf our party," he told reporters in Pune.
Pawar said the number of ministerial berths for NCP in the UPA government would remain the same, as per statistical formula applicable to coalition partners.
"I have suggested the name of Tariq Anwar and not Supriya Sule (Pawar's daughter)," he quipped.
Anwar may replace MoS Agatha Sangma, whose father PA Sangma quit the NCP to fight the recent presidential election going against the stand of Pawar, who had declared support to Pranab Mukherjee of Congress.
The Union Agriculture minister, who earlier addressed a state-level convention of NCP, also said that his party was prepared to face the mid-term poll as a fallout of political instability.
"The situation is such that we may not have to wait till 2014 for next elections," he added.
To a query, Pawar said he did not think Congress leader Rahul Gandhi would join the Union Cabinet.
Addressing the party delegates, Pawar defended the controversial Lavasa project saying it was in keeping with the policies of Maharashtra government.
He regretted what he called "an atmosphere of negativity" created in the country saying that it could harm the system of parliamentary democracy.
On the proposed white paper on irrigation by the Maharashtra government, he said the document should present "objective realities" in respect of irrigation situation in the state.
He refuted a suggestion that his nephew and former Maharashtra minister Ajit Pawar, who resigned following charges of irrigation scam, was 'isolated', saying that Ajit was still the leader of NCP legislature party.