HW English
Sharad Pawar
Opinion

Decoding The “Pawar Neeti”

Most of Pawar’s political rivals were also his best friends in personal life. This always ensured Pawar had no permanent enemies only permanent friends.

As its partner in the state government and in Centre in the past, Congress continues to target Modi govt over Ladakh border tensions with China, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar’s statement came as a striking contradiction. While Congress continues to blame Modi govt for not standing up to China, Pawar says the Central Government cannot be blamed for Chinese incursion in Ladakh, “We have to stand with the military. During the 1962 war also, China had grabbed 42,000 sq km of our land,” said Pawar, indirectly, taking a shot at the Congress leadership.
This is an excellent example of what I call ‘Pawar Neeti’. Now, let me attempt to explain the theory of ‘Pawar Neeti’ the way I understand it:

Keep Partners Close, Opposition Closer:

Most of Pawar’s political rivals were also his best friends in personal life. For instance, Balasaheb Thackeray was his worst political adversary but his best friend outside of politics. This always ensured Pawar had no permanent enemies only permanent friends. He has a bridge build with almost every relevant political party and leader in this country.

Opportunity Not Ideology:

Pawar Saheb, as he is popularly known, follows the mantra of opportunity over ideology. He and his party NCP is as comfortable aligning with BJP, Shiv Sena, TMC or even Shiromani Akali Dal as much as he is with the Congress. For him, Politics is a means to capture and remain in power not to profess ideologies and principles. As a person (to whatever extent I know of him) he is secular, but I doubt if he’ll sacrifice power for it.

Sailing In Two Boats:

In the past 6 years, Pawar has been actively or passively been supportive of all major BJP decisions, be it, Rafale Deal, Triple Talaq bill in RS, Aarey Forest Issue etc.. But he has been critical or not so supportive of his partner Congress’ positions, even including this current India China issue. This strategy helps him to keep his partners in tender hooks and his opposition hoping.

No To Hypocrisy:

Sharad Pawar is shrewd, manipulative, cunning, ruthless even, but he is never a hypocrite. Have you ever heard him call another politician corrupt? Have you heard him criticise dynasty politics? His criticism is normally limited to an administrative lacuna. He never ever has positioned his party as a clean corruption free organisation nor has he ever promised to provide a corruption-free government. His promises hover around subsidies, reservations, loan waivers, etc…in other words he offers the community Social bribes in return of their votes.
Sharad Pawar may not be a great statesman or a model social leader, but he sure is an institution when it comes to on-ground electoral politics.

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