Splinter Congress: NCP Strong foot hold in Maharastra

:Sharadchandra Govindrao Pawar (Marathi: शरदचंद्र गोविंदराव पवार) (born December 12, 1940), popularly known as Sharad Pawar is an Indian politician from the state of Maharashtra. He is the president of the Nationalist Congress Party which he founded in 1999, after separating from theIndian National Congress. He has previously held the posts of Defence Minister of India and Chief Minister of Maharashtra and currently serves as Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public DistributionGovernment of India.
Pawar is from the town of Baramati in the Pune district of Maharashtra. He leads the NCP delegation in the Lok Sabha, representing his constituency of Madha in Maharashtra. He has a prominent place in Indian national politics as well as regional politics of Maharashtra.
Pawar also served as the Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 2005 to 2008. In 2010, Sharad Pawar became the International Cricket Council president after England's David Morgan. [1]

Till 1990

Sharad Pawar entered the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1967 from Baramati, representing the undivided Congress Party.
Pawar broke away from the Congress to form a coalition government with the opposition Janata party in 1978 becoming the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for the first time at a time when Indira Gandhi had become incredibly unpopular due to her imposition of Emergency in 1975. ThisProgressive Democratic Front government was dismissed in February 1980, following Indira Gandhi's return to power at the Centre.
In the elections that followed, the Congress party won the majority in state assembly and A.R. Antulay,took over as the chief minister of the state. Pawar took over the Presidency of the Congress in 1981. For the first time, he won Lok Sabha election from Baramati parliamentary constituency in 1984. He also won state assembly elections of March 1985 from Baramati and preferred to continue in state politics for a while and resigned from the Lok Sabha. His party, the Indian Congress (Socialist) won 54 seats out of 288 in the state assembly and he became theleader of the opposition.
His returning to the Congress has been cited as a reason for the rise of the Shiv Sena at that time. In June 1988Prime Minister of India and Congress President Rajiv Gandhi decided to induct then Maharashtra Chief Minister Shankarrao Chavan into Union Cabinet as Finance Minister and Sharad Pawar was chosen to replace Chavan as chief minister. Sharad Pawar had the task of checking the rise of the Shiv Sena in state politics, which was a potential challenge to the dominance of Congress party in the state[citation needed]. In 1989 Lok Sabha elections, Congress party won 28 seats out of 48 in Maharashtra. In the state assembly elections of February 1990, the alliance between the Shiv Sena and theBharatiya Janata Party posed a stiff challenge to the Congress. Congress fell short of an absolute majority in the state assembly, winning 141 seats out 288. Sharad Pawar was sworn in as chief minister again on March 4, 1990 with the support of 12 independent MLAs.
During the course of election campaign, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. There were reports in the media that Pawar's name was being considered for the Prime Minister's post along with those of P.V. Narasimha Rao and N.D. Tiwari.[2][3][4] However the Congress Parliamentary Party elected P.V. Narasimha Rao as its leader and he was sworn in as Prime Minister on June 21, 1991. Rao decided to induct Pawar as Defence Minister. On June 26, 1991, Pawar took over as that portfolio, continuing till March 1993. After Pawar's successor in Maharashtra, Sudhakarrao Naik stepped down, Rao sent Pawar back as chief minister of the state.
He was sworn in as chief minister for his fourth and most controversial term[citation needed] on March 6, 1993. Almost immediately, Mumbai, the financial capital of India and the state capital of Maharashtra, was rocked with series of bomb blasts on March 12, 1993.Sharad Pawar was sworn in as chief minister of maharashtra for first time in 1978 and not in 1979 as stated in the article career till 1990.
he Deputy Commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal CorporationG.R. Khairnar made a series of accusations against Pawar for being involved in corruption and protecting the criminals[citation needed]. Though Khairnar could not produce any evidence in support of his claims, it inevitably affected Pawar's popularity. Notable social worker Anna Hazare started a fast unto death to demand expulsion of 12 officers of the Forest department of Government of Maharashtra, who had been accused of corruption. The opposition parties accused Pawar's government of trying to shield the corrupt officers. The 1994 Gowari stampede occurred at Nagpur during the Winter Session of Maharashtra State Assemblyand killed 114 people. Nagpur Police were trying to disperse almost 50000 Gowari protesters using baton charge but it created panic and triggered stampede amongst protesters[5].Allegations were made that the mishap occurred because welfare minister Madhukarrao Pichad did not meet with the delegation of the Vanjara people in time. Though Pichad stepped down owing moral responsibility for the mishap, this incident was another setback to Sharad Pawar's government.
The elections to the Vidhan Sabha were due to be held in 1995. The Shiv Sena and BJP combine was leading the Congress in the polls, and there was widespread rebellion in the Congress party. The Shiv Sena-BJP combine won 138 seats while Congress party retained only 80 seats in the state assembly. Sharad Pawar had to step down and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi took over as chief minister on March 14, 1995.
Till the Lok Sabha elections of 1996, Sharad Pawar served as the Leader of the Opposition in State Legislative Council. In the 1996 General elections, he won from the Baramati seat and has not returned to the State Assembly since.In June 1997, he unsuccessfully challenged Sitaram Kesri for the post of Congress President. In the mid-term parliamentary elections of 1998, Sharad Pawar not only won from his constituency, Baramati but also led the Congress to an emphatic win in Maharashtra. His move to align with the Republican Party of India (Athvale) and Samajwadi Party for the elections in the state brought rich dividents and the Congress party and allies won 37 seats out of 48 in the state. Sharad Pawar served as Leader of Opposition in 12th Lok Sabha.
After 12th Lok Sabha was dissolved and elections to 13th Lok Sabha were due, Pawar, P.A. Sangma and Tariq Anwar demanded that the Congress Party needed to project someone born in India as the Prime Ministerial candidate and not the Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, who had entered party politics and replaced Kesri as Congress President.
In June 1999, Pawar and Sangma founded the Nationalist Congress Party. His party had to align with the Congress party to form a coalition government in Maharashtra as neither party could win an absolute majority on its own in the 1999 assembly elections. Pawar, however, did not return to state politics, and Vilasrao Deshmukh of the Congress was chosen as Chief Minister, with Chagan Bhujbal representing the NCP as his deputy. The alliance has endured at the national and state level to this day.
After 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he joined the United Progressive Alliance government headed by Manmohan Singh as the Minister for Agriculture and Food.


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