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Nov 13, 2019-Wednesday



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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019: As rain soaks rally, Pawar admits picked ‘wrong candidates’ for LS polls

The 78-year old leader was addressing the crowd in Satara, which is considered the NCP’s stronghold, on Friday, just ahead of Monday’s assembly elections in the state.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 19, 2019 11:14 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
(Twitter: @PawarSpeaks)

Photographs and videos of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar addressing an election rally in Maharashtra’s Satara amid heavy rains are being widely shared on social media platforms.

The 78-year old leader was addressing the crowd in Satara, which is considered the NCP’s stronghold, on Friday, just ahead of Monday’s assembly elections in the state.

The NCP had organised Pawar’s rally for the party’s candidates contesting the Lok Sabha by-election as well as the assembly poll.

As soon as Sharad Pawar started speaking it began to rain and the veteran leader chose to continue addressing as the crowd stayed put.

“Varun Raja (rain god in the Hindu mythology) has blessed the NCP. With his blessings Satara district will now do magic in the upcoming polls,” the veteran leader said in his address.

As he drew applause and cheers from the audience, Pawar also admitted that he had erred while selecting Udayanraje Bhonsale as his party’s candidate in Satara for the Lok Sabha election held earlier this year.

“When someone makes a mistake, it is expected that he will admit the same as well. I am here to admit that I made a mistake during the recently held Lok Sabha elections and I am sure each and every person of Satara is waiting to rectify that mistake on October 21,” he said.

Udayanraje Bhonsle resigned from the Lok Sabha and NCP within four months after the general elections. Bhonsle is also a three-time member of Parliament from the Satara seat.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has posed a challenge before the party in Satara by poaching on its sitting MP Udayanraje Bhonsle and MLA Shivendraraje Bhonsale, both descendants of Maratha king Shivaji.

Pawar was campaigning for his party’s candidate Shrinivas Patil, who is contesting the by-polls for the Satara Lok Sabha constituency against Udayanraje Bhonsle, who is now the BJP’s candidate.

Patil, a 78-year-old former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was also the governor of Sikkim from 2013 to 2018.

The crowd at Sharad Pawar’s rally did not leave the open ground until he completed his speech.

And, the NCP chief was praised for continuing his speech even when he was drenched in the pouring rain on Twitter as well.

“Not all battles are fought for Victory. Some are fought simply to tell the world that someone was there on the battlefield,” Alok Shinde tweeted.

“This image of Sharad Pawar delivering speech in rain will be remembered for a long time, irrespective of the outcome of elections (sic),” Ashish Dikshit posted.

“Even Rain cannot stop him. Powerfull Sharad Pawar The Firm,Fighter,Stable,Strong (sic),” Pritesh Shah tweeted.

“Our 79 year old stalwart delivered speech despite pouring rains at Satara This picture will be etched in our memories forever ! Salute to this commitment, hard work and never say die spirit ! Thank you for inspiring us ! Hats off @PawarSpeaks,” saidarshan wrote.

The Lok Sabha by-poll will be held on October 21 along with the assembly elections in Maharashtra. The votes will be counted on October 24.