Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday lavished fulsome praise on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, remarking that Maharashtra’s leadership was embodied in Mr. Pawar’s person.
The two leaders from opposing parties and of opposing ideologies shared stage in Amravati district on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of iconic farmer leader and educationist Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh organised by Shri Shivaji Shikshan Sanstha.
Mr. Gadkari, who was presenting an award to Mr. Pawar instituted in Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh’s name, praised the NCP leader’s work in the social, cultural and agricultural fields and his constant support for meritorious individuals which transcended mere politics.
“Maharashtra’s leadership is Sharad Pawar. Mr. Pawar stands behind meritorious people of various fields without giving his support any political colour. There is not a single sector, be it the arts, or sports, or agriculture where Mr. Pawar has not left his stamp. Whenever he has had a chance, he has contributed to the development of every sector. He has brought about changes in a real sense in the field of agriculture after listening to the plight of farmers,” said Mr. Gadkari.
Lauding Mr. Pawar for setting up the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) in Pune to improve the per acre yield of sugarcane and address other agricultural-related problems, Mr. Gadkari narrated an incident during a visit to Uttar Pradesh.
“When I learnt that the per acre yield for sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh was a mere 35 tonnes, I told the Agriculture Minister of that State that you are not even in the third-class category regarding the yield. I urged him to come with me to visit Mr. Pawar’s VSI. Since then, the per acre yield for farmers in Uttar Pradesh has more than doubled,” the BJP leader said, thanking Mr. Pawar for his efforts in opening a branch of the VSI in the arid Vidarbha region.
“We have to think of demand and supply in crop pattern in the future. We need to study the successful experiments in agriculture made under Mr. Pawar’s leadership in western Maharashtra and elsewhere,” Mr. Gadkari said.
Comparing Mr. Pawar’s passion for agriculture to Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh’s vision, the BJP leader said: “Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh has done invaluable work in the field of agriculture. He is a big name. Sharad Pawar also has a big name. Sharad Pawar also shares the same passion and has the same vision that Panjabrao had. Now that Sharad Pawar has been given an award instituted in the name of Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh, the award has reached even greater heights. But, where will people of Sharad Pawar’s height be found every year to be conferred with future awards?”