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Left Congress, but never dumped ideology of Nehru, Gandhi: Sharad Pawar

Speaking at a book launch, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also said he never wanted to return to Maharashtra as the Chief Minister in 1991, but he 'accepted the challenge'.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: December 30, 2021 10:32:51 am
NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Loksatta editor Girish Kuber at the launch of the book in Pune on Tuesday. (Express photo: Ashish Kale)

Speaking at the launch of a coffee table book on his life Wednesday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said while he left the Congress, he never dumped the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Pawar also said he never wanted to return to Maharashtra as the Chief Minister in 1991, but he “accepted the challenge”.

The book, Ashtawadhani, was launched by Bharat Forge MD Babasaheb Kalyani at an event organised by Loksatta in Pune.

Talking about the recent row in Maharashtra over the election of the Assembly Speaker, Pawar said, “Today, all newspapers carried reports saying I spoke to the CM about Speaker’s election, after which it was cancelled. But I didn’t speak anything about it…newspapers have the tendency to suspect my hand in everything that happens on the political front in the state.”

Remembering Balasaheb Thackeray, Pawar said that the Shiv Sena founder never hesitated in using “the choicest words” against him. “…but we always remained friends, cooperated and often discussed issues affecting the state,” Pawar said.

Pawar also spoke about opposing “action” against then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi when his cabinet colleagues wanted it. “It’s partly true that (former Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh and I opposed taking vindictive action against an elected chief minister,” he said.

Speaking further about Prime Minister Modi, Pawar said that he “puts in a lot of hard work and carries the task he takes up to its logical conclusion”.

Pawar also said in 2019, PM Modi had suggested they “work together” in Maharashtra. “But I told him right in his office that it was not possible…,” the NCP chief said.

On the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, Pawar said he had “no worries” about its stability. On opponent-turned ally and now state CM Uddhav Thackeray, Pawar said, “I was worried about the CM’s health…But in the past 10 days, he seems to be taking all the decisions.” Thackeray recently underwent a cervical spine surgery.

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