New Delhi, Dec. 10 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said during Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar tenure as Minister for Agriculture, the country witnessed record levels of agricultural production, and the policies he initiated played a significant role in India becoming one of the largest producers of wheat and rice and turning from a net importer to exporter.
Attended a felicitation function organised on the occasion of 75th birthday of Pawar here, President Mukherjee thanked Pawar for bringing together the entire cross section of Indian political leadership on the occasion of his birthday, saying “this reflects the inherent strength of Indian democracy, wherein political leaders do come together on occasion irrespective of party, ideology and approach”.
Describing Pawar as one of the outstanding political leaders of his time, the President said he was greatly surprised when Pawar, who had been Defence Minister earlier, asked in 2004 for the agriculture portfolio, but he later realised how wise Pawar’s decision was.
The President said the fact that Pawar has an uninterrupted legislative career since 1967 shows how acceptable he is to the people and the confidence that he enjoys amongst the public.
He complimented Pawar for converting his constituency Baramati into a prosperous area by use of technology, even though it was devoid of any natural resources, including water.
He said Baramati is now a model that could be replicated anywhere.
The President also recalled that Mumbai blasts took place within a week of Pawar returning to Maharashtra as Chief Minister in 1993. He brought back normalcy to the economic centre of India within a short time and the media applauded his performance with the heading ‘Salaam Bombay, Salaam Pawarji’. (ANI)