NCP president Sharad Pawar on Sunday appealed to his party to adapt to the changing socio-political scenario, and said the vision and ideologies of social reformers like Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Jyotirao Phule and Dr B R Ambedkar continued to be the guiding light for future.
At a function organised by the Nationalist Congress Party here to mark his 81st birthday, Pawar said the NCP may be a small party with limited cadre, but its "uniqueness" is that its workers are committed to take along all the deprived sections of society. "If members of a section of the society feel they can't lead a dignified life, we should facilitate that," said the former Union minister, whose party currently shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra.
Workers of the NCP and other parties need to adapt to the changing socio-political scenario, he said. Pawar said the ideologies and philosophies of the three social reformers - Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Jyotirao Phule and Ambedkar - constituted his party's backbone. The vision and ideologies of these three towering figures is an inspiration for political workers, said Pawar, who had thrice served as the chief minister of Maharashtra.
The octogenarian, whose political career spans over five decades, said wishes pouring in on his birthday have encouraged him to work more. "Birthdays are an important milestone in one's personal life. My 50th, 60th and 75th birthdays have been celebrated publicly. Even though I didn't want a celebration on my 81st birthday, I have come (to the event) because the party wanted," he said. "December 12 is an important date for me not because it is my birthday, but because it is also my mother's birthday. December 12 is also the birthday of my nephew and niece. Pratibha's (Pawar's wife) birthday is on December 13," he said.
He said meeting people gives him mental satisfaction. "I like spending time with people who have risen in social strata, to understand their unrest against injustice and atrocities, and make political parties understand what needs to be done," he said. Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also wished Pawar on his birthday. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray sent a bouquet of flowers to Pawar at the latter's residence Silver oak in south Mumbai.
-With PTI Inputs