Sharad Pawar, we call him the seasoned politician of India. His supporters and fans call him ‘the Chanakya of Indian politics’. Everyone has a right to praise or evaluate any person, but to call Sharad Pawar Chanakya is a bit too much if we look at his entire political career. The Boss of Baramati has made several flip-flops during his entire career which is spread over 66 years now.
We came across a video from a known senior journalist Mr Pradeep Singh, in which he has given a detailed timeline of when Pawar changed his mind to align with a political party. The video is in Hindi, so we are giving a gist of what he said with some details we added after searching on the internet.
Sharad Pawar’s Political Career and His Flip Flops
Sharad Pawar started his political journey with Youth Congress in 1958 and later became the president of the Poona (Pune) Youth Congress. His political stature slowly but surely increased, and he became the leading man for Yashwantrao Chavan. It was Yashwantrao Chavan who persuaded the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vasantrao Naik, to include Pawar in his cabinet as Home Minister in the early 1970s and continued to remain in that position till 1977 in Shankarrao Chavan’s government as well.
In 1978 when the Congress party broke into two parts along with mentor Yashwantrao Chavan, Sharad Pawar joined Congress (U), and under Vasantdada, Patil Pawar served as Minister of Labour. So in one decade, Pawar had already changed parties and perhaps decided to remain flexible whenever there was a question to grab an opportunity.
In July 1978, the Baramati Boss Sharad Pawar also broke Congress (U), took his supporters out of the party, and formed a government along with the Janata Party and Jana Sangh (BJP’s former avatar). At that time, he became the youngest Chief Minister of Maharashtra. His government was later dismissed by Congress (I) government at the centre as Indira Gandhi made a comeback.
Pawar then took over the presidency of the Indian National Congress (Socialist), and his party won 54 seats in the 1985 Maharashtra Assembly Elections, and he became the Leader of the Opposition. Next few years, Sharad Pawar observed that the Shiv Sena was rising fast in the state, so he decided to join the Congress (I) in 1987. Even Congress looked in agreement with Pawar’s observation. Hence, they included the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shankarrao Chavan, into the central cabinet and made Pawar the state’s Chief Minister to keep a check on the rise of Shiv Sena along with the BJP.
In 1999 when the 13th Lok Sabha elections were announced, Sharad Pawar, who failed to defeat Sitaram Kesri in a race to become Congress President, suddenly decided to partway from the party. He, Poorno Sangma, and Tarik Anwar decided to have their political party. The reason for the partway from Congress? Well, Congress decided to make Sonia Gandhi its new president and Pawar and his two friends thought that if Congress came back to power, then Sonia Gandhi would become the Prime Minister of India. So, based on her foreign origin Pawar and his two friends formed a new party called Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
But, under the same Sonia Gandhi’s leadership of UPA, Sharad Pawar’s party joined the government at the centre in 2004 and became the Agriculture Minister. Later in 2012, Pawar declared that he would not be part of electoral politics, so he didn’t contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, although he is still a member of the upper house, Rajya Sabha.
These are the only visible flip-flops by Sharad Pawar. Still, in the video of Mr Pradeep Singh that you will watch later, you will know that even behind the doors, Pawar has changed his stand within no time to adjust to the opportunity to get power. For details, do watch the video provided below.