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The NCP should support Samruddhi Mahamarg since the high-speed connectivity between Nagpur and Mumbai was a concern expressed by Sharad Pawar two decades ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday. The state legislative assembly and council adopted a resolution to mark the 50 years of NCP president Sharad Pawar and senior legislator Ganpatrao Deshmukh’s political journeys. Fadnavis read out excerpts from select 40 speeches of Pawar which he delivered as the former chief minister of Maharashtra on agriculture, industries, regional balance and women and child development.
Fadnavis said, “I have gone through Pawar’s 40 speeches. The issues which he raised then are still relevant. It provides us insight on the development plan he envisaged several decades ago,” Pawar had aptly said that the high cost incurred on transport of raw material from Mumbai to Nagpur and lack of development were detrimental to the backward Vidarbha region, hampering industrial growth, the CM said. He said that Pawar believed that unless high connectivity between Mumbai and Nagpur was developed, it would lead to regional imbalance and invite backlash from the people.
In their speeches, senior NCP leaders Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil made recalled their formative years and grooming under Pawar’s leadership. Pawar took them to the World Bank to understand the working and the issues confronting the developed and the developing countries. They said Pawar’s contribution was beyond partisan politics and stressed on the developmental agenda. Senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam said, “Pawar’s decision to leave Congress was a biggest blunder as he was the biggest mass leader in the party. He would have become the PM.”
Talking on the congratulatory motion of Pawar and Deshmukh, NCP leader Sunil Tatkare, said, “The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should take an initiative, invite the Prime Minister and the President, for the felicitation of the duo in the central hall of the state legislature.” Narayan Rane, senior Congress leader, said that though he admired late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray as a great leader, he considered Pawar as his political mentor.
“Nobody could replicate the Baramati model anywhere,” said Rane, praising the development of Baramati made by Pawar. Ganpatrao Deshmukh was lauded for his commitment to the public issues in the last five decades.