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Sharad Pawar’s mentorship gave Maharashtra many good leaders, says Nitin Gadkari

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said Walse Patil possessed all the good qualities a politician must have

mumbai Updated: Oct 28, 2017 00:41 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Sharad Pawar, Nitin Gadkari,NCP
From (left) Former chief minister Ashok Chavan, senior NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil, NCP president Sharad Pawar, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari at Ravindranatya Mandir on Friday.(Pratik Chorge/HT )

Amid speculations over the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which were later quashed, the warmth between the top leaders of both the parties continued on Friday.

Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis attended a function held to felicitate senior NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil, who turned 60.

Gadkari said Pawar had always promoted young leaders.

“It is because of Pawar that Maharashtra got many good and dedicated leaders. Walse Patil was lucky to have a mentor like him,” said the former BJP national president.

Senior leaders praised Pawar’s leadership and Walse Patil’s dedication to his work. “Today’s politics is more about ruling. People have nothing to do with ideology. But, Walse Patil remained loyal to Pawar even during difficult times. I am proud to have such a person as my friend,” he added.

Fadnavis said Walse Patil possessed all the good qualities a politician must have. “He always remains calm and quiet. He is a good administrator and shows aggression only when necessary. As energy minister, his role in ending the state’s power crisis was significant. He was behind the idea to form private universities. He taught me how to control my anger,” said the chief minister. Fadnavis praised the senior NCP leader and six-time MLA from Ambegaon in Pune.

Recently, there were rumours that Prime Minister Modi had offered the NCP the chance to join the NDA and Supriya Sule, Pawar’s daughter and NCP MP had rejected it. Pawar is also known for his cordial relationship with BJP top brass. The NCP had extended its unsolicited support to the BJP to stabilise its government in the state after BJP failed to get a majority in the 2014 Assembly elections.

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 00:41 IST