Senior NCP leader Praful Patel on Wednesday said Sharad Pawar remains the party chief till he reconsiders his decision to step down from the post, and there would be no discussions to pick his successor till then.
Speaking to reporters here, Patel, who is the NCP’s national vice president, also said he himself was not in the running for the top post.
The committee, which Pawar himself set up on Tuesday to decide on his successor, did not meet on Wednesday, he said.
“If the situation arises, the committee will decide on Pawar’s successor and the decision will be unanimous. He sought time to think over his decision after the party asked him to reconsider it, and till the final decision is arrived at, there is no question of deliberating on his successor,” Patel said.
“There is no vacancy,” he said, adding, “whether Pawar remains president or not, he is the party’s identity and soul.”
The NCP leader was reacting to speculation about Supriya Sule emerging as the choice for national president and Ajit Pawar as the Maharashtra unit chief. Some reports also suggested that Patel could succeed Pawar.
The party was trying to persuade Pawar to reconsider his decision, Patel said.
“Party workers should have patience and stop resigning from their posts en masse (in protest against Pawar’s decision),” he said.
As he was the convenor of the committee, he would inform when its meeting is scheduled, Patel told the reporters.
He also denied that state NCP chief Jayant Patil was upset with the party.
Patil was in Pune to attend a meeting of his sugar cooperative factory, Patel said.
The `Vajramooth’ rallies of the Maha Vikas Aghadi — the alliance of the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) — were postponed due to the hot summer conditions and it was decided on Sunday when a rally was held in Mumbai, Patel said.
“It has nothing to do with Pawar stepping down as NCP chief,” he said.