That Sharad Pawar nursed the ambition of becoming prime minister is public knowledge. Perhaps, that may be one of the reasons, he quit Congress, and set up the Nationalist Congress Party in 1999 along with PA Sangma. Analysts feel he could have well become one had Dr Manmohan Singh not backed out from joining the NCP. The 80-year-old Maratha strongman, revered and feared, loves to keep everyone guessing about his next move. He foxed everybody when he met poll strategist Prashant Kishor three times within a fortnight. And quickly denied he was forming a Third Front. It may be recalled that the run-up to meeting Kishor was preceded by Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut mooting the idea that Pawar should be the next UPA leader. In his 60 years of political career, Pawar is not known to give formal interviews or quotes to the Press. But, ever since the formation of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, he has been talking to media frequently. He went into a silence zone for a long period, post his reported meeting with Amit Shah in Ahmedabad in March 2021 even though MVA infighting was out in the open. Now, he has formally told the media that he will not contest 2022 Presidential elections or become PM face in 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Now, everybody is stumped!