Global Statistics

All countries
179,534,500
Confirmed
Updated on June 22, 2021 1:31 am
All countries
162,441,727
Recovered
Updated on June 22, 2021 1:31 am
All countries
3,888,357
Deaths
Updated on June 22, 2021 1:31 am

Global Statistics

All countries
179,534,500
Confirmed
Updated on June 22, 2021 1:31 am
All countries
162,441,727
Recovered
Updated on June 22, 2021 1:31 am
All countries
3,888,357
Deaths
Updated on June 22, 2021 1:31 am

‘They have more experience of power’, said Atal


Sharad Pawar, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra
It was in the seventies, Vasantdada Patil was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and I was the Home Minister in his cabinet. One day Dada convened a necessary meeting of prominent IPS officers at the Chief Minister’s residence. As home minister, I considered it my duty to be present there. I reached there at 9:45 am because the meeting was to start at ten o’clock. It was ten o’clock, the grandfather did not reach the meeting. Time was passing by. I went to his room

to remind him of the meeting. An ordinary farmer visitor was sitting in front of him. Dada introduced me, ‘This is our friend. Both of us were in jail together during the independence movement. His son is in the armed force. They want it transferred to the Yellow Gate Police Station. ‘ I was a bit irritated by the visitor’s audacity. Firstly, he had delayed the Chief Minister for 15 minutes for his personal problem and it was not a simple demand to transfer his son to Yellowgate police station in Colaba. Armed forces are deployed with ministers and VIPs. There is no source of earning there. The Yellow Gate Police Station was close to the port. The deployment there was considered very attractive and also very important. I said, ‘Dada, people who want to earn money, they want transfer to Yellow Gate Police Station.’ He asked, ‘Is that so?’

‘Yes, it is so.’ I replied. ‘Okay, then transfer it for two years. He has to marry two sisters. Dada stopped speaking without saying this without getting excited.

Lal Ji, listen to them
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first Prime Minister who had no connection with the Congress. I was the Leader of the Opposition in the government headed by him. He was a man with a sharp vision of dividing between the wrong and the right, and the ability to humor satirically with delight. There are many important posts which are filled with the consent of the Prime Minister, the senior minister in his cabinet and the Leader of the Opposition. It was a matter of great pleasure to partner with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jaswant Singh and LK Advani in such meetings. Atal ji used to take decisions in such meetings directly on the basis of merit. At the start of such special meetings, the Prime Minister would sit with his eyes closed for some time and none of us would say anything for some time. After a while, Atal ji slowly opened his eyes and then stared at everyone in a thoughtful posture and asked, ‘What is the purpose of today’s meeting?’ Jaswant Singh started to tell that the election of candidates for such and such post is today’s agenda. Atal ji, taking a deep look at all of us, would ask, ‘Do you have any in mind?’ If everyone agreed, the meeting would have ended immediately. If there was a disagreement, the Prime Minister would have allowed his merits to be discussed. After this, he would have a holiday to drink tea. After coming back, he would listen to our arguments for some time and then make his decision. I remember a meeting in which there was a disagreement between Advani and me about the name of a person for a post. After listening to the views of both of us for a while, Atal ji intervened in his much-known style. Turning to Advani, he pointed towards us and said, ‘Lalji, we have just come to power. They have more experience of power than us, they accept their point. ‘ Whenever he was away from the turmoil of domestic politics, he was very comfortable. I remember once. We went to UNO in a delegation led by him. After the end of the work in the day, when we used to gossip on many topics, I used to enjoy them a lot. He would narrate a number of anecdotes with his companions and entertain everyone. That is why he was popular with everyone outside the party line and ideological boundaries.

Dileep came for Sanjay Dutt
When Dilip Kumar wrote his autobiography, he mentioned my name in it. He referred to the mediation of Mary and Rajni Patel in solving a problem in their personal lives. In fact, when he was to be married to Asma Rahman for the second time, both his wife Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar asked me to play the role of mediator and I am happy that they are all happy even today. He came to me in connection with the arrest of Sanjay Dutt at the time when I was in the Maharashtra government in 1993, but it was a very difficult situation. Sanjay Dutt was arrested in connection with the Mumbai bomb blasts and Sanjay Dutt’s father Sunil Dutt sent him to me and prayed for some leniency. But the matter was so serious that I was unable to help anything. There was so much evidence against the young actor that I had to dismiss his appeal. Although after this there was some bitterness between us and their relations, but later everything gradually became normal. The relationship of his wife Saira Banu and my family is still good today. At the age of 93, when he was very ill, I went to see him, but he could not recognize me.

(Sharad Pawar’s book, on his own terms, courtesy to publisher Rajkamal)

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own

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