With speculations that Sharad Pawar may become chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), former cabinet minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday said that the post is not that of a Prime Minister, noting that even Pawar will not want to be declared as the chairperson of the alliance as there is no such thing which exists.
“I don’t think even Mr Sharad Pawar wants to be declared as the chairperson of the UPA…. When these parties meet, the natural person to extend the invitation and the natural person to preside over the meeting will be the leader of the largest party; we are not selecting a prime minister,” Chidambaram told ANI in an exclusive interaction.
“There is no such thing as chairperson of UPA,” he added.
Underlining the importance of calling a meet of the UPA parties, the former finance minister said that if the party calls for a meeting of the alliance, “it is only natural that a Congress leader will preside over the meeting’.
Further, Chidambaram stressed on the importance of UPA and its allies working together to make the alliance stronger nationwide.
“Some of the parties may take the initiative to call the meeting of UPA and Congress will attend it but if the Congress is calling a meeting it is only natural that one of its own leaders will preside over the meeting,” Chidambaram told ANI.
Chidambaram mentioned that among the UPA allies, Congress had the largest bench strength in parliament.
“The UPA consists of about nine or ten parties and the biggest party in the alliance is the Congress party. Congress has roughly about 95 or 100 members in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,” he told ANI.
Recently, Congress’ ally in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena, in its mouthpiece, Saamna, praised Sharad Pawar for his personality and said ‘Sharad Pawar should become the next chairperson of United Progressive Alliance’.