Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence on Saturday, July 17. Media reports claim that the meeting lasted for 50 minutes.

The photographs of the two leaders in the meeting were shared by both PMO and Pawar’s official Twitter handles. The tweet by PMO read, “Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sharad Pawar met PM Narendra Modi.”

Highlights of the meeting

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  • The NCP supremo has claimed that the meeting was held to discuss issues of national interests. 
  • However, the meeting held amid speculation that Pawar could be the Opposition's nominee for the President's post has fueled a sudden stir in the political circles.
  • Presidential elections in India are due in 2022.
  • The NCP supremo's meeting with PM Modi comes in the wake of Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole's controversial statements.
  • Patole had described Pawar as the Maharashtra government's "remote control." He further claimed that MVA allies were spying on him and side-tracking Congress.
  • On July 14, Pawar had denied the speculation of him being a presidential candidate stating that he knows the result as BJP has more than 300 MPs.
  • However, Pawar has held several meetings with Poll strategist Prashant Kishor since Mamata Banerjee’s historic win in West Bengal Elections. Mr. Kishor played a significant role in the WB elections.
  • According to the media, Kishor is seeking to gather support for the opposition candidate for President.
  • Pawar, who led the creation of an opposition wall ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, also stated that no decision has been made regarding the 2024 elections. He went on to say, "The political environment is always evolving."
  • A day before PM Modi's cabinet reshuffle, the 80-year-old Rajya Sabha member commented on the formation of the new Ministry of Cooperation. He said that the Maharashtra assembly had created laws for the cooperative sector and that the Centre had no jurisdiction to meddle with legislation drafted by the state.
  • Mr. Pawar had a meeting on Friday with Piyush Goyal, the newly-appointed leader of the Rajya Sabha and a Union Minister, ahead of the Parliament session. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress politician Anand Sharma were also present. 
  • On July 18, another all-party meeting will be held.

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