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As we get older, our passion grows, says Ajit Pawar

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Pawar clan: As we get older, our passion grows, says Ajit PawarBy Quaid Najmi

Pune, Feb 1 (IANS) As the members of the state’s powerful Pawar clan get older, their enthusiasm for public service remains undiminished, said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Quite feared and notorious in political circles for his blunt statements, the senior Nationalist Congress Party leader said that now Sharad ‘Pawar-Saheb’ is pushing 81, he (Ajit Pawar) is 61 while his cousin Supriya (Pawar) Sule is 51 years old.

“But, as we become older, our passion keeps growing,” Ajit Pawar said, addressing a function on employment generation in his home town of Baramati on Sunday evening, in the presence of NCP leaders, representatives of banks, corporates, etc.

Then, with a pause, decorated by an impish grin, the 4-time Deputy Chief Minister added mischievously: “Our passion for work!”

He pointed out that it was this zeal for public service which energises all the Pawars “to start working at the crack of dawn, as soon the sun rises and go on all day” and duties continue even till late in the night.

The reputation for doing peoples’ work has impressed the masses immensely, and now people from even other districts or regions approach the Pawars to get their problems resolved, he contended.

“We are compelled to tell them ‘Arrey Baba, approach your own MLAs, Ministers or Guardian Ministers… This is not in our jurisdiction’. But we try to help as many as possible,” said the Deputy Chief Minister, himself considered a work-horse.

“This is probably why the people of Baramati always support us wholeheartedly during all elections. If any parcel comes from outside, the Baramatikars retain his (election) deposit and politely send him back!” Ajit Pawar said with a stern countenance on how nobody else stands a chance in Baramati.

The Pawar clan’s stranglehold on the Baramati stronghold is legendary, though several top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders attempted to break it and even darkly warned that “(Sharad) Pawar will be sent home”.

Ironically, the threats failed to faze Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule and Ajit Pawar – and they all got elected and guffawed their way to the Houses of legislature and Parliament.

For instance, NCP President Sharad Pawar has been elected 6 times non-stop since 1967 from Baramati, on Congress tickets and twice (1980 and 1985) on other breakaway factions.

He also has an unbroken record of becoming the state’s youngest Chief Minister in 1978 at the age of 37, and returning thrice later before climbing to national politics, barring a 2-year return spell in the state from 1993.

Besides, the Pawar Senior romped home in 7 Lok Sabha elections (Baramati and Madha) and is now a Member of Rajya Sabha for the second consecutive term since 2014, after retiring from the electoral arena and ‘bequeathing’ the seat to his sole daughter Supriya Sule.

Not surprisingly, Supriya Pawar won from Baramati Lok Sabha constituency in 2009, then succeeded in taming the so-called ‘Modi-waves’, to return again in 2014 and 2019, besides an earlier term in Rajya Sabha.

Similarly, Ajit Pawar has been elected 7 times from Baramati Assembly constituency non-stop since 1991 and also spent a short term in Lok Sabha before dedicating himself to state politics and harbouring a not-so-secret desire for the Chief Minister’s chair.

Making a brief self-introspection, Ajit Pawar said that whenever things don’t proceed smoothly as per plans, he gets upset and irritated.

“This happens often, so there’s an impression created that I am perpetually grouchy. But that’s not true,” he said and warned the officialdom to ensure that all works are carried out properly with a life-span of century and not squander public money.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)

–IANS

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