Friday, July 12, 2024

‘Neither tired, nor retired but full of fire’, says Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that he is neither tired nor retired.

“I am neither tired nor retired, but am full of fire,” the 83-year old NCP President said.

Earlier, Ajit Pawar pointed out that his uncle should now retire.
You portrayed me as a villain in front of everyone. I still have deep respect for him (Sharad Pawar)…But you tell me, IAS officers retire at 60…even in politics – BJP leaders retire at 75. You can see the example of LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi…That allows the new generation to rise,” Ajit Pawar said

Taking a swipe at his nephew Ajit Pawar – who led a revolt in the NCP last week and became the new Deputy Chief Minister – Pawar harked to a famous poem penned by the late Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, with his own little contribution.

Replying to media queries on how Sharad Pawar’s 64-year-old nephew wanted him to go into retirement and “live for 100 years”, Pawar laughed and recited the Vajpayee verse.

Pawar said that the present cabinet consists of people in the age group of 60-70, but if a person’s health is good, then age cannot hinder anyone from doing good work or contributing to the society.

“When I was the Chief Minister in 1978, there was a person before my eyes… His name was Morarji Desai. He was 84 when he became the PM,” said Sharad Pawar, referring to his first stint as Maharashtra CM at the age of 37, the youngest to occupy the post — the record still stands.

Preparing to address his first major rally in Yeola in Nashik – after the NCP split on July 2 – Sharad Pawar said that the district enjoys a special place in the history of India’s Independence and a historic session of the Indian National Congress was held here in September 1950 presided over by P. D. Tandon.

The district has given many great leaders to the country and the late Y. B. Chavan, who became the first CM of Maharashtra (May 1, 1960) had entered the Lok Sabha from Nashik, and later became the Deputy PM of India.

“Chavan was the social-political role model of the youth of our times… When the Chinese crisis hit the country, the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru called him to Delhi and made him the Defence Minister (in Nov. 1962),” said Sharad Pawar.

Just as the people of Nashik gave Chavan immense support then, the NCP supremo said that he has launched his current political tour from the same district today.

Incidentally, Yeola is the stronghold of Chhagan Bhujbal, Sharad Pawar’s one-time close confidante who has quit to join the Ajit Pawar-led NCP group.

Sharad Pawar recalled how, after Bhujbal’s rout in the Mazagaon, Mumbai assembly seat twice in 1995 and 1999. Then with Shiv Sena, he was among the earliest MLAs of the party to be elected twice from Mazagaon in 1985 and 1990.

“After his defeat, he was keen to be elected to the Legislative Assembly. So after discussing with the party and people of Nashik, we suggested he should contest from a safe seat, Yeola, and he emerged victorious,” said Sharad Pawar.

He explained how seeing the expressions on the faces of thousands of people en route from Mumbai to Nashik this morning invigorated him and made him feel more confident in the current crisis gripping his party.

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