The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is the President and the leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha, Sharad Pawar’s personality is so big that the politics of Maharashtra revolves around him. Whether he is in power or outside, every party understands Pawar’s power politics.
But along with the politics of Pawar state, Pawar is also a fan of the political pitch of cricket. He remained as the President of Mumbai Cricket Council for more than ten years, then from 2005 to 2008, was also the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and from 2010 to 2012, the International Cricket Council.
Such was the political journey
For the last fifty years, Sharad Pawar has taken oath as the Chief Minister of the state thrice. From 2004 to 2014, he was the Agriculture Minister in Manmohan Singh’s cabinet. Apart from this, Pawar has also worked at the Center as Defense Minister. It is because of Sharad Pawar’s political and practical conduct that he always had good relations with the ruling party in the opposition. The current Modi government has honored him with Padma Vibhushan in the year 2017, which is considered to be the second highest civilian award in the country.
Became MLA at the age of 27
The specialty of Sharad Pawar’s politics from the very beginning has been full of understanding. This was the reason that he was elected MLA in the year 1967 when he was only 27 years old. Sharad Pawar continued to touch the heights after that and the then veteran leader Yashwant Rao Chavan continued to carry him forward as his political mentor.
Sharad Pawar’s self-confidence had increased so much that after the Emergency, he left the Congress after rebelling against Indira Gandhi and in 1978 formed the government in Maharashtra with the Janata Party and took over as the Chief Minister of the state. After the return of the Indira government in 1980, the Sharad Pawar government was dismissed. But Sharad Pawar retained his strong hold in the politics of the state by forming the Congress Party Socialist in the year 1983.
Sharad Pawar was neither enemy nor friend of any political party in his political life, but according to the time and convenience, he did not hesitate to settle the equation immediately (file photo)
In the Lok Sabha elections held that year, Sharad Pawar won from Baramati for the first time, but his party’s victory in 54 seats in the 1985 assembly elections pulled him back to state politics. Sharad Pawar resigned from the Lok Sabha and led the opposition in the assembly, but in 1987, he returned to his old party Congress and became close to Rajiv Gandhi by expressing his faith in the leadership. Sharad Pawar got the chair of CM in 1988 in place of Shankar Rao Chavan, while Chavan was made the Finance Minister at the Center in the year 1988.
Name was in PM’s race
In the 1990 assembly elections, the Congress had won 141 out of 288 seats, but Sharad Pawar, an expert in politics, managed to form the government with the help of 12 independent MLAs. By doing this, he managed to become CM for the third time. But after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, Sharad Pawar’s name started appearing among the three people who were being seen as the candidate for the next prime minister of the Congress. These three names included Narayan Dutt Tiwari, PV Narasimha Rao and Sharad Pawar.
Narayan Dutt Tiwari was left out of becoming the PM due to the unexpected defeat in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections and this opportunity went to another senior leader PV Narasimha Rao while Sharad Pawar got the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense. But later once again Sharad Pawar was sent back for Maharashtra politics.
On 6 March 1993, Sharad Pawar was made the CM, replacing Sudhakar Rao Naik. But due to the serial blasts in Mumbai on 12 March 1993, there were fierce political attacks on the Sharad Pawar government. The party had to bear the brunt of this in the assembly elections. The BJP-Shiv Sena won the 1995 assembly elections, targeting the Pawar government on the issue of the Mumbai bomb blasts. Congress got only 80 seats.
Sharad Pawar has also been very involved in controversies. Many times he was targeted on many scams but every time he kept escaping from all these.
was also the leader of the opposition
After the mid-term Lok Sabha elections of 1998, Sharad Pawar was elected the Leader of the Opposition. But when the 12th Lok Sabha was dissolved in 1999, Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar questioned Sonia Gandhi on the question of foreign-origin leadership and formed the Nationalist Congress Party after expulsion from the Congress. Sharad Pawar did form a party by separating from the Congress, but after not getting the mandate in the 1999 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections, he joined hands with the Congress and formed the government.
From the year 2004 to 2014, Pawar was a minister at the Center since then, till now, along with the assembly elections in Maharashtra, he has maintained coordination with the Congress in the Lok Sabha seat there. Sharad Pawar did not contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections saying that he wanted to bring the youth leadership forward in the party.
Pawar has also been surrounded by controversies
Be it stamp scam or land allotment dispute or from saving criminals to collusion with corrupt officials. On all these issues, Sharad Pawar has been surrounded by the opposition. Not only this, there has been a lot of scuffle by the opposition parties regarding the serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993 and his alleged relationship with Dawood. In 1993, due to the allegations of corruption leveled against him by former IAS officer GR Khairnar, he got a lot of fame.
Pawar is accused by opposition parties of imposing familyism in politics. Sharad Pawar has always been a victim of criticism for his daughter Supriya Sule and nephew Ajit Pawar’s status in the NCP after him. But Sharad Pawar has been known to play pragmatic political moves since its inception.
Like a smart player in politics, Sharad Pawar, who is smart in every move, will be able to put the NCP in a strong position in the coming assembly elections, all eyes are on it. Obviously, he will have to face the Modi magic with the pair of young Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray, who have a strong organization as well as many experienced leaders. In such a situation, whether cricket lover Sharad Pawar will be able to single-handedly sail the party like Tendulkar, this question can be heard often in the political corridor.
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