In a major development, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar announced that he is stepping down from his post soon, here on Tuesday.

He made the announcement of his retirement during the release of his autobiography, "Lok Majhe Sangaayi - Political Autobiography".

"I know when to stop... I have set up a committee of senior NCP leaders who will decide on the next president," said Pawar, 82, flanked by his wife Pratibha.

However, the Rajya Sabha member with three more years to go, assured that he would remain active in public life through social-politics, as in the past over 55 years.

His announcement was greeted with shock, many bursting into tears and raising slogans in his support with many party activists appealing to Pawar to take back his decision as the country needs him.