Statements on Pawar as PM welcome, but no joining Third Front: NCP

New Delhi, April 21 (Inditop) With two major Third Front constituents, AIADMK and Biju Janata Dal (BJD), openly announcing support for Sharad Pawar as prime ministerial candidate, his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Tuesday gave a guarded welcome to the statements but stated the party was very much part of the ruling UPA.

AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik have said in two different interviews that they consider Pawar suitable for the country’s top job.

“The statements are welcome,” said NCP general secretary D.P. Tripathi.

However, he said a firm “no” when asked if the party would consider joining the Third Front in the changing political scenario.

NCP is an important ally of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

“We are in the UPA… We are with UPA…,” Tripathi told IANS.

Meanwhile, the Left parties said that the Third Front’s prime ministerial candidate would be decided only after the elections.

“After the elections, coalition would be formed on the basis of policies and programmes. The leader of the coalition would be elected on the basis of consensus,” Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary Shameem Faizee told IANS.

In an interview to CNN IBN news channel Monday, Jayalalitha had said: “Sharad Pawar is a very senior political leader, he has the maturity, wisdom and experience necessary to be prime ministerial candidate.”

Patnaik had said he would look into “with a great level of possibility” at the candidature of Pawar for prime minister.