Sharad Pawar's birthday: Pawar, a former Union Minister and a four-time chief minister of Maharashtra, is one of the foremost opposition leaders and is seen as a pivot to the anti-BJP front in the country
Sharad Pawar. Pic/X@PawarSpeaks
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, known as the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, will turn 83 on December 12.
Pawar, a former Union Minister and a four-time chief minister of Maharashtra, is one of the foremost opposition leaders and is seen as a pivot to the anti-BJP front in the country. He is known to share a good rapport with politicians, including the prime minister, across political parties.
The veteran leader was also instrumental in the formation of the NCP-Congress unlikely tie-up with the Shiv Sena in 2019 after the Sena fell out with its ally BJP following the Assembly polls.
Earlier this year, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar followed the footsteps of Eknath Shinde. He took a sizeable section of NCP leaders and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party, forming a part of the Eknath Shinde - Devendra Fadnavis government.
Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs of the NCP joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government on July 2. The development led to a split within the NCP, which was founded by Sharad Pawar in 1999.
The Sharad Pawar camp filed petitions seeking disqualification of five MLCs who defected to the Ajit Pawar faction, while the rival group sought disqualification of three council members from the party founder's side.
On Sharad Pawar's birthday, here's a look at some interesting facts about the NCP supremo:
- Pawar, who was born on December 12, 1940, in Baramati, Maharashtra, has a political career spanning over 50 years.
- In 1967, he was elected a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from the Baramati constituency on a Congress ticket and has been in public service since then.
- However, in 1999, he broke ties with Congress to form the Nationalist Congress Party. He had also served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra four times and held several key ministerial portfolios at the Centre. He has held the posts of Minister of Defence and Minister of Agriculture in the Government of India.
- At present, the NCP chief is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
- Pawar has also been credited for the alliance between three parties – Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP – after the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections to form the government in the state.
- Outside of politics, Pawar has served as the Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India BCCI from 2005 to 2008 and as the president of the International Cricket Council from 2010 to 2012.
- He was the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association for many years.
- In 2017, the Indian government conferred upon him Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian honour in India.