West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Left leaders met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar separately on Tuesday (June 14) in a bid to convince the veteran leader from Maharashtra to be the joint opposition nominee for the presidential election.
Pawar, however, refused, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said after his meeting with him.
Pawar met Yechury, CPI general secretary D. Raja and NCP leaders Praful Patel and P .C. Chacko in Delhi and conveyed to them his decision to not contest the election.
“I have been informed that Pawar will not be the opposition face for the presidential poll, other names are under consideration,” said Yechury.
Opposition sources said Pawar was not keen to enter a battle which he is destined to lose at this point in his political career.
Banerjee is in Delhi for a meeting of non-BJP parties she has convened to formulate a joint strategy for the upcoming presidential poll.
Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress supremo, has convened the meeting on June 15 at the Constitution Club in the national capital for discussions to come out with a consensus opposition candidate.
The election of the President of India will be held on July 18.
(With inputs from agencies)