Pawar, who has been the president of the NCP since its inception in 1999, also announced that he would not contest elections in the future.
New Delhi: Veteran politician Sharad Pawar has announced to step down as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president, in a move that could see his nephew Ajit Pawar taking over the reins.
Speaking at the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in Mumbai on Tuesday, Pawar said that a committee of senior NCP leaders would decide the future course of action for the party.
The committee will include Praful Patel, Sunil Tatkare, PC Chacko, Narhari Zirwal, Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujabl, Dilip walse-Patil, Anil Deshmukh, Rajesh Tope, Jitendra Awhad, Hasan Mushrif, Dhananjay Munde, Jaydev Gaikwad, and chiefs of party frontal cells.
“After a long period of public life from May 1, 1960, to May 1, 2023, it is necessary to take a step back. Hence, I have decided to step down as president of the Nationalist Congress Party,” he told the gathering in Mumbai.
He added, “However, I intend to do more in the fields of education, agriculture, cooperation, sports and culture, amongst others. I will also pay attention issues related to the Youth, Students, workers, Dalit’s, Tribal’s and other weaker sections of the society.”
Pawar, who has been the president of the NCP since its inception in 1999, also announced that he would not contest elections in the future and would focus more on issues affecting the state and country.
He said that he had three years left on his Rajya Sabha tenure and would not take on any new duties. His announcement has left the NCP in a state of shock, and there has been no announcement yet on who will succeed him as party chief.
After his announcement, NCP leaders and workers present at the venue raised slogans against his exit and said that they would not leave the hall until he withdrew his decision. However, Pawar remained steadfast in his decision and said that he would continue to participate in political, social, and cultural life.
Known for his astute political acumen, Pawar has played a crucial role in Maharashtra politics for several decades. He has served as the chief minister of Maharashtra on three occasions and has been a member of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. He was also the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and played a key role in the development of Indian cricket.