Party workers from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have chosen a unique way to celebrate their party leader Sharad Pawar’s 72nd birthday, which falls on December 12.
They are aiming to collect 12,12,012 birthday greeting messages from well-wishers across the state to congratulate their leader.
In order to reach their intended target, which would be a record of sorts, over 1,000 specially designed registers have been dispatched to all the districts in the state, with a set target to achieve the goal. “Each of the 35 districts has a target of collecting anywhere between 10,000 to 50,000 birthday greetings,” said a party minister.
Mumbai has been given a target of 50,000 messages. Although the drive is ongoing across the state, collection of messages in the city will commence from December 8, the minister added.
Currently, two special vehicles are touring the state — one covering the Konkan, Western Maharashtra and Marathwada region, while the other is touring North Maharashtra and Vidarbha — to achieve the objective. “We are maintaining a day-to-day report of the drive,” said the party general secretary.
Even though the party, if it reaches the mark, is on course to create a world record with the drive, as claimed by office bearers, it has not formally informed the Guinness Book of World Records. “The move undertaken by us is out of sheer affection towards our leader, and it’s not for any record,” said Shivajirao Garje, NCP’s senior office bearer.
Incidentally, Pawar is scheduled to be in Delhi on his birthday, as he has to attend proceedings at the winter session of the parliament. The collected messages would be presented to him at a gala function in Pune soon thereafter. The party has also decided to observe a ‘swabhimaan saptah’ (self-pride week), which will commence from December 12, wherein a number of programmes have been lined up, involving senior party leaders and youngsters, party leaders said.
Also, the Rashtrawadi Yuvati Congress, led by party MP Supriya Sule will be launching a 12- point programme for young women. But, the cynosure of all party eyes is the birthday messages collection programme. Senior party members believe their task is cut out, as Pawar enjoys an excellent rapport with leaders across party lines, thus making their objective easy. People from all walks of life will be approached to leave messages, prominent among them would be politicians, socialites, artists, sportspersons, entrepreneurs, and businessmen.