Stating that it was a "conscious" decision to quit electoral politics, Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar on Friday filed his nomination papers for the biennial Rajya Sabha polls scheduled to be held on February 7.
Apart from Pawar, NCP's second candidate advocate Majid Memon also filed his papers. They were accompanied by Union Minister Praful Patel, senior NCP leader D P Tripathi and state NCP chief Bhaskar Jadhav on the occasion.
Pawar and Memon replace retiring NCP members Y P Trivedi and Janardhan Waghmare.
On his way to the house of elders in the Parliament, 73-year-old Pawar said, "I accept that I have aged. It was a conscious decision."
Taking a dig at Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray's recent statement in Shirur daring Pawar to contest Lok Sabha poll from the seat, only to lose his deposit, Pawar said, "I was also scared to face such powerful people in election fray from a constituency where five out of six assembly segments are held by the NCP."
Pawar, who has won the Lok Sabha elections eight times since he first entered the Parliament in March 1985, founded the NCP in 1999 after breaking away from Congress. The veteran leader, who had mulling to bid adieu to Lok Sabha for long, has earlier served as defence minister besides being chief minister of Maharashtra thrice.