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Was not ready to come back as Maharashtra CM in 1993: NCP President Sharad Pawar

The veteran politician who was speaking at an event in Pune said his decision to come back as Maharashtra chief minister was an emotional one that he was asked to take by the government in power then.

December 29, 2021 / 09:07 PM IST
File Image: Sharad Pawar

File Image: Sharad Pawar

NCP president Sharad Pawar, speaking at an event, said he was not ready to come back to Maharashtra as chief minister from the Centre during riots that took place in Mumbai post-Babri Masjid demolition, but he was "made emotional" and asked to take the reins of the state in 1993.

Pawar, then in the Congress, was defence minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and took over as Maharashtra CM in March 1993 replacing the incumbent Sudharkarrao Naik.

The veteran politician was speaking at an event in Pune organised by Marathi daily 'Loksatta' whose editor Girish Kuber interviewed him. The former Union minister said initially he was not keen on taking charge of the state and went back to Delhi, but eventually returned to take over as CM.

"After the Babri Masjid demolition (in December 1992), riots broke out in Mumbai. The normal life in Mumbai had collapsed for 14 to 15 days. I was the defence minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government. I was told to go to the state and take the position (as CM)," Pawar recalled.

"I was even made emotional and told that the 'state, where I was born and brought up and from where I came till here (Delhi), was burning and in such a situation, if you (Pawar ) are not taking the responsibility, it would sadden them'," said Pawar. The octogenarian leader said in that given situation, he had to take the decision to return to the state.

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Pawar also mentioned that even though he left the Congress, he never left behind the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. He also remembered the Shiv Sena Supremo, Balasaheb Thackeray, as a man who didn't hesitate in using the  'choicest words' against him. In spite of that, they still remained friends and discussed issues affecting the state.

On the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, Pawar said he had “no worries” about its stability.

(With inputs from PTI)
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first published: Dec 29, 2021 09:07 pm
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