Mumbai: Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday said he "would love to have a cup of tea with Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray" during UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Mumbai next week.

Mukherjee is the UPA candidate and is backed by several parties including JD (U) and Shiv Sena, who are NDA constituents, Pawar told reporters here.

"It is important for the candidate to meet and discuss issues with supporting parties and leaders. We have met CPM and TRS leaders as well," he said adding that Shiv Sena had supported UPA nominee for presidential post in 2007 also.

To a question if he would accompany Mukherjee to Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree', Pawar said "if Thackeray had time on July 13, he would love to have a cup of tea" with the Sena chief.

On if Sena leader Manohar Joshi is being considered as a vice presidential candidate, Pawar said there is no proposal from Sena on Joshi's candidature.

"Congress is the largest party in the UPA and it is the prerogative of the party to discuss probable names with the allies. Congress will take decision on vice presidential candidate," he said.

To a poser, the Union Minister said he had "no role" to play in Thackeray's decision to support Mukherjee.

On allegations of corruption against NCP minister Sunil Tatkare, Pawar said "some people have the habit of speaking the extreme and complaining before media."

"The Konkan Graduates' election to Legislative Council has proved that educated class does not take such things seriously," he said referring to the NCP candidate's win in the biennial elections.

When asked about the appointment of Mumbai NCP president, he said it would be done in 2-3 days days.

(Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk