राजकारण गांभीर्याने आणि जबाबदारीनेच करावं लागतं. राजकारणातून सत्ता व सत्तेच्या माध्यमातून धोरणांची निश्चिती होते. समाजातल्या सर्व घटकांचा विचार करून अंगीकारलेल्या धोरणांमध्ये परिस्थितीत आमूलाग्र बदल घडवून आणण्याची क्षमता असते. या अर्थानं राजकारणाला अनन्यसाधारण महत्त्व आहे म्हणूनच स्वतंत्र विचारांच्या, प्रज्ञेच्या तरुण-तरुणींनी राजकारणात आलं पाहिजे.

Power is not an achievement; it is a Responsibility! In my long political career spanning over half a century, I have held various posts and had an opportunity to work in opposition too for a notable amount of time. During this period, I was able to reach out to the people and could connect with them. These experiences expanded my perceptions. Hence, as political activists, always keep you connect with the people. Remember my cadre, "We are
Representing society at large!"
Sharad Pawar

The episode of formation of the Nationalist Congress Party in the long political career of Hon'ble Pawar Saheb is revolves around the last 20 years. Before that, he was a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress. But this is not a platform to review his humongous career in Congress. However, to understand the reasons behind the formation of the Nationalist Congress Party, it is necessary to know about the developments a month prior to the formation of NCP.
This sequence of events began on May 15, 1999. Before elections, a meeting of the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress party was held. During this meeting, the then INC President Smt. Sonia Gandhi asked the committee members if her foreign origin could affect the election campaign. Many leaders took a stand of persuading Soniaji. But Shri. P. A. Sangma and Shri. Sharad Pawar expressed their honest views and alarmed the Working Committee that Congress could face this issue during the elections. They also insisted on making strategies to respond to this criticism.
After that, the atmosphere in Delhi was heated against Pawar Saheb. Hon'ble Pawar Saheb and his colleagues then handed over a letter to the Congress party president, explaining their stand in this scenario. In that letter, It was stated that despite acknowledging the sacrifices of the Gandhi family and Soniaji's influence on the Congress party, the party will have to pay the price on the issue of her foreign origin. The leadership too will have to face this issue in the election.
After receiving this letter, the Congress executive committee held a meeting and they decided to suspend Shri. Sharad Pawar, Shri. P. A. Sangma and Shri. Tariq Anwar for six years.

The Rise of Nationalist Congress Party

Pawar Saheb was on his way to Mumbai when these incidents were taking place in Delhi.
After learning about the suspension, many leaders contacted Pawar saheb and assembled in
Mumbai. Shri. P. A. Sangma came and North-East India followed him, Shri. Tariq Anwar
joined and Bihar, Uttar Pradesh followed him, Former Chief Minister of Assam
Sharadchandra Sinha, senior leader Sanat Mehta from Gujarat also came to Mumbai. Since
the original ideology was of the Congress, the name of the party was decided as 'Nationalist
Congress Party'. After that an open convention was held at Shivaji Park which received a
humongous response from the people. Honourable Shri. Sharad Pawar laid the foundation
of a new political party, which was based on the Gandhian ideology and principles of
secularism. Shivaji Park witnessed the rise of a new era, NCP party was formed on June 10,
1999.
Pawar Saheb was on his way to Mumbai when these incidents were taking place in Delhi. After learning about the suspension, many leaders contacted Pawar saheb and assembled in Mumbai. Shri. P. A. Sangma came and North-East India followed him, Shri. Tariq Anwar joined and Bihar, Uttar Pradesh followed him, Former Chief Minister of Assam Sharadchandra Sinha, senior leader Sanat Mehta from Gujarat also came to Mumbai. Since the original ideology was of the Congress, the name of the party was decided as Nationalist Congress Party. After that an open convention was held at Shivaji Park which received a humongous response from the people. Honourable Shri. Sharad Pawar laid the foundation of a new political party, which was based on the Gandhian ideology and principles of secularism. Shivaji Park witnessed the rise of a new era, NCP party was formed on June 10, 1999 .
The newly formed Nationalist Congress Party started its journey when Pawar Saheb was at the age of 60. Yet there was perseverance in mind, new hope in heart and a willingness to work hard, but many challenges were standing right in front of him. The marathon of Maharashtra elections was beckoning within two months, when the party had just started taking baby steps. But Pawar Saheb was ready to take on any challenge. At the establishment itself, he had made it clear that NCP would give priority to the new generation. The young at heart and young in thoughts Pawar Saheb gathered his young army and went on to face the Lok Sabha and Vidhansabha polls just in two months time. The party did not have enough time to prepare. But under the leadership of Pawar Saheb, many young people gathered. Everyone carried out the role given to them accurately. People also responded to the progressive vision of Pawar Saheb. The new party, despite having inadequate resources, won six seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The Indian National Congress had seen a new low of 112 seats. Pawar Saheb's concerns over the issue of Soniajis foreign origin were justified by this verdict. The Congress party could not come to power in the Centre. The BJP government led by Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed the government. Though, situation was different in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance could not get a clear majority and although there were indications from their alliance to come together for the establishment of power and in spite of the rift with Congress, Pawar Saheb was determined not to go with the Sena-BJP alliance. The conflict in Delhi with the Congress leadership had not escalated in Maharashtra. Hence, by joining hands with Congress, a joint Congress-NCP government was formed in Maharashtra. During this short span NCP gained massive mass base and popularity in the state. NCP got its momentum. Later, with Pawar Saheb adorning the role of the opposition in the Parliament in Delhi, it further helped NCP to expand its core at national level.
The Journey of NCP
The newly formed Nationalist Congress Party started its journey when Pawar Saheb was at the age of 60. Yet there was perseverance in mind, new hope in heart and a willingness to work hard, but many challenges were standing right in front of him. The marathon of Maharashtra elections was beckoning within two months, when the party had just started taking baby steps. But Pawar Saheb was ready to take on any challenge. At the establishment itself, he had made it clear that NCP would give priority to the new generation. The young at heart and young in thoughts Pawar Saheb gathered his young army and went on to face the Lok Sabha and Vidhansabha polls just in two months time. The party did not have enough time to prepare. But under the leadership of Pawar Saheb, many young people gathered. Everyone carried out the role given to them accurately. People also responded to the progressive vision of Pawar Saheb. The new party, despite having inadequate resources, won six seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The Indian National Congress had seen a new low of 112 seats. Pawar Saheb's concerns over the issue of Soniajis foreign origin were justified by this verdict. The Congress party could not come to power in the Centre. The BJP government led by Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed the government. Though, situation was different in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance could not get a clear majority and although there were indications from their alliance to come together for the establishment of power and in spite of the rift with Congress, Pawar Saheb was determined not to go with the Sena-BJP alliance. The conflict in Delhi with the Congress leadership had not escalated in Maharashtra. Hence, by joining hands with Congress, a joint Congress-NCP government was formed in Maharashtra. During this short span NCP gained massive mass base and popularity in the state. NCP got its momentum. Later, with Pawar Saheb adorning the role of the opposition in the Parliament in Delhi, it further helped NCP to expand its core at national level.
If anyone has to be credited for taking an initiative to bring the Prime Minister of the country to a drought zone, it is Pawar Saheb. This radical change, the country's agro-industrial progress, the growth of agricultural commodities took place at an unprecedented pace during his tenure. Pawar Saheb was encouraging and helping farmers to grow crops in a new way by increasing the minimum support price for the farmers.
After taking charge of the agriculture department, he firstly transformed the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The Green Revolution was brought about through the joint efforts and right of policies of Former Agriculture Minister Dr. C. Subramaniam and the first head of ICAR Dr. M. S. Swaminathan. But then we failed to advance it further with changing times. During the 90's, agriculture was neglected and the growth rate fell below two per cent. In 2004, Pawar Saheb took over the departments of Food Processing, Animal Husbandry, Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Welfare and Water Conservation along with the Department of Agriculture and introduced a homogeneous approach.
The backbone of agriculture, ICAR had collapsed at that time; more than 500 posts for scientists’ were lying vacant. Pawar Saheb took charge of it and recruited young scientists, established 80 organizations under ICAR, removed the obstacle of red tapism for better functioning of these scientists. A new set of talented officers was then shifted to the agriculture department. The Food and Agriculture Organization gave its scientists the opportunity to work with scientists from international organizations. The three pillars, namely, the prestige of researchers, the autonomy of the institution and the strong foundation of research, gave ICAR a new lease of life. Pawar Saheb very skillfully brought about this revival.
Shri Sharad Pawar got global recognition for his work in agricultural field. He was honoured in the United States, France and Brazil for his insights, out of the box thinking and wide range of ideas for not only development of agriculture but also for co-related industries like fishery or animal husbandry.
His tenure of 10 years is considered as the 'Golden Era' of the agricultural sector in the post-independence history of our country. Credit provision for agriculture, changing layouts for agriculture, cropping practices, horticulture, farmers' loan waiver of Rs 70,000 crore and many other bold decisions have not been taken by any other agriculture minister before. That is why everyone hails Pawar Saheb and he is fondly known as the Janata Raja. Even his opponents acknowledge his Work.

If anyone has to be credited for taking an initiative to bring the Prime Minister of the country to a drought zone, it is Pawar Saheb. This radical change, the country's agro-industrial progress, the growth of agricultural commodities took place at an unprecedented pace during his tenure. Pawar Saheb was encouraging and helping farmers to grow crops in a new way by increasing the minimum support price for the farmers. After taking charge of the agriculture department, he firstly transformed the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The Green Revolution was brought about through the joint efforts and right of policies of Former Agriculture Minister Dr. C. Subramaniam and the first head of ICAR Dr. M. S. Swaminathan. But then we failed to advance it further with changing times. During the 90's, agriculture was neglected and the growth rate fell below two per cent. In 2004, Pawar Saheb took over the departments of Food Processing, Animal Husbandry, Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Welfare and Water Conservation along with the Department of Agriculture and introduced a homogeneous approach. The backbone of agriculture, ICAR had collapsed at that time; more than 500 posts for scientists’ were lying vacant. Pawar Saheb took charge of it and recruited young scientists, established 80 organizations under ICAR, removed the obstacle of red tapism for better functioning of these scientists. A new set of talented officers was then shifted to the agriculture department. The Food and Agriculture Organization gave its scientists the opportunity to work with scientists from international organizations. The three pillars, namely, the prestige of researchers, the autonomy of the institution and the strong foundation of research, gave ICAR a new lease of life. Pawar Saheb very skillfully brought about this revival. Shri Sharad Pawar got global recognition for his work in agricultural field. He was honoured in the United States, France and Brazil for his insights, out of the box thinking and wide range of ideas for not only development of agriculture but also for co-related industries like fishery or animal husbandry. His tenure of 10 years is considered as the 'Golden Era' of the agricultural sector in the post-independence history of our country. Credit provision for agriculture, changing layouts for agriculture, cropping practices, horticulture, farmers' loan waiver of Rs 70,000 crore and many other bold decisions have not been taken by any other agriculture minister before. That is why everyone hails Pawar Saheb and he is fondly known as the Janata Raja. Even his opponents acknowledge his Work.
Pawar Saheb's contribution as the Minister of Agriculture
When all this was taking place, Pawar Saheb was going through major medical condition. He was diagnosed with Cancer. Doctors had advised him to get operated at the earliest, otherwise it could turn into a life-threatening condition. In the run-up to the 2004 elections, he convened a meeting of the NCP executive, took them in confidence and got himself admitted to the hospital. Doctors said that there was a 50-50 percent chance of survival. But this strong man endured all these hardships and set an extraordinary example of courage. He told the party leaders that even if he is not in command, they still have to fight the war and with persistence, they have to win. His words motivated his young army and they faced elections with full dedication. In 2004 Maharashtra polls, NCP won more seats than the Congress. 2004 state elections will always be a memorable and unforgettable chapter in the history of the NCP.
When all this was taking place, Pawar Saheb was going through major medical condition. He was diagnosed with Cancer. Doctors had advised him to get operated at the earliest, otherwise it could turn into a life-threatening condition. In the run-up to the 2004 elections, he convened a meeting of the NCP executive, took them in confidence and got himself admitted to the hospital. Doctors said that there was a 50-50 percent chance of survival. But this strong man endured all these hardships and set an extraordinary example of courage. He told the party leaders that even if he is not in command, they still have to fight the war and with persistence, they have to win. His words motivated his young army and they faced elections with full dedication. In 2004 Maharashtra polls, NCP won more seats than the Congress. 2004 state elections will always be a memorable and unforgettable chapter in the history of the NCP.
Diagnosis of Pawar Saheb's illness and 2004 elections

Slide The pioneer of second green revolution in India

As the Minister of Agriculture, Pawar Saheb ushered in the second green revolution in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Purvanchal by completing 100 lakh tonnes of paddy production in the country. During his tenure, India exported grains to 25 countries of the world with record production of rice and wheat. The food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines acknowledged and congratulated his work. These achievements established him as the pioneer of the second green revolution in the country.
Formation of United Progressive Alliance

As the Minister of Agriculture, Pawar Saheb ushered in the second green revolution in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Purvanchal by completing 100 lakh tonnes of paddy production in the country. During his tenure, India exported grains to 25 countries of the world with record production of rice and wheat. The food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines acknowledged and congratulated his work. These achievements established him as the pioneer of the second green revolution in the country.
Towards agro-industrial society

Inspired by his mentor, Late Yashwantrao Chavan, Pawar Saheb has continued his efforts to develop the agro-industrial society throughout his career
Slide Establishment of National Horticulture Mission (NHM)

In order to implement the horticulture scheme on larger scale, with 100 per cent subsidy, Pawar Saheb launched the National horticulture Mission and carried out a wider horticulture program across the country. Funding was given for production of vegetables, flowers, fruits, greenhouses, farms, micro-irrigation schemes, construction of tools, nursery, air-conditioned warehouses, refrigerated vans etc. As a result, fruit production increased significantly and India became the number one producer of fruits and vegetables in the world.
Launch of National Agricultural Development Scheme

When Pawar Saheb became the Union Agriculture minister, Capital investment in agriculture was at a decline. As a result, the growth rate was stagnant and new jobs were not being created. This was affecting the overall growth rate of the country.
Pawar Saheb launched the National Agriculture Development (RKY) Scheme to tackle these issues. Thousands of crores were given to the states for capital investment in agriculture from the central government. With this financial aid, the states implemented various agricultural programs like irrigation, micro-irrigation, land improvement, farm ponds etc.
Loan Waiver for farmers

Pawar Saheb was instrumental in giving a Rs 71,000 crore loan waiver to approximately 4 crore 30 lakh farmers who were in arrears due to drought, unpredictability of rains and pest infestation. The 7/12 extract of the farmers was completely emptied, so that they can become eligible for a new loan and can get into the mainstream of production. Co-operative banks also recovered due to debt recovery and were able to provide new loans. At that time, Maharashtra received Rs 7,800 crore from Central government for this debt waiver. All these were the efforts of Pawar Saheb, his conviction made all this possible.
Slide Mega Watershed Program
Shri Pawar Saheb started the Mega Watershed Development Program on the principle of head to toe. He consolidated several schemes so that all the works should be started at once instead of working piecemeal in order to implement the watershed development program in a scientific manner. As a result, a large amount of funds became available and all the works started at once and the results were immediately visible. The acceleration of the neglected watershed development program has helped eliminate the water crisis in drought prone areas and made water available for eight-month (four-season farming).
Substantial increase in the basic prices of agricultural commodities
Until 2004, Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the leader of the National Democratic Alliance. NDA government did not increase the basic prices of agricultural products beyond Rs 5 to 10. As a result, farmers abandoned food crops and turned to other crops and due to this, the country's food production declined. India had to import it from other countries. When Pawar Saheb became Agriculture Minister in 2004, the first file that was laid on his table to start his tenure as Agriculture minister was that of wheat import. While signing the file, the only thought in his mind was that, it would be better to increase the prices of indian farmers instead of paying to foreign farmers. He then doubled and sometimes quadrupled the prices of 42 agricultural commodities for 10 consecutive years. Due to this substantial increase, farmers also started producing more grains. The production increased enormously and India became self-sufficient in food grains. Not only did the Nation start exporting to other countries, farmers' goods also fetched fair prices and this brought prosperity to their homes.
Mega Food Processing Project
Pawar Saheb initiated a plan to build the required infrastructure to set up food processing industries. The objective was to increase the value of agricultural produce, he encouraged the food processing industries so that farmers can sell all their produce at a fair price. The network of each mega project could be set up in one place and all the facilities could be made available to those who want to enter the processing industry.
Slide Establishment of Bamboo Mission

Bamboo is used for many things from paper making to building materials. In order to increase the production of bamboo and to create new varieties in a tissue culture manner, Pawar Saheb established the Bamboo Mission and through it increased the production of bamboo.
Dairy development Mission
In order to develop the dairy business in the country, Pawar Saheb made special arrangements to import high quality crossbred cows from abroad and delivered them to the farmers. For higher Milk yield, these dairy cows were provided with good shelters and nutritious food. The implementation of Dairy Development program helped dairy farming immensely and also helped dairies to build infrastructure and provide up-to-date technology.
Fisheries Development Program
To make a greater use of India’s vast coastline, Shri. Sharad Pawar created a large-scale fisheries program. The aim of this program was to increase fish production and exports. He also encouraged freshwater cage fishing and encouraged states and private individuals to build cages. The states of Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have benefited immensely from this cage fishing scheme. For this, large financial assistance was made available from the centre.
Slide Various fruit growers' associations
Various fruit growers' associations were set up for the purpose of proper disposal of fruit production. Pawar Saheb wanted the farmers to earn good money for their produce. So, he took the initiative and established various organisations like MahaGrape, MahaMango, MahaBanana, MahaOrange, Pomegranate Production Association, Strawberry Growers Association and he helped these organizations immensely. The manufacturing sector was also converted into an export zone and provided with the necessary infrastructure. E.g. Alphonso Mango in Konkan, Kesar Mango in Marathwada, Nashik - Tasgaon grapes etc.
Ban on agricultural exports lifted

Shri Pawar convinced the Cabinet to lift the ban on exports of onion, cotton, sugar, milk powder and other agricultural commodities. He insisted that the ban should be lifted if farmers don’t want the prices of their goods to fall and if they want to get a fair price for the goods. He always thought of how his farmers could get more income by avoiding losses.
Prime Minister package for farmer's suicidal areas

Pawar Saheb’s prime objective was to prevent farmers’ suicides. To cater this issue, the Prime Minister package was announced and Rs 3,000 crores were distributed in the districts of Vidarbha, Maharashtra where the rate of farmer suicides was high. Agro-supplementary programs were also undertaken to increase the income of the farmers like completion of irrigation projects, digging of farms, re-acquisition of wells, animal husbandry etc. Pawar Saheb always had compassion for his farmer brothers.
Slide Research programs on crop diseases

During his tenure, Shri Pawar Saheb noticed that certain crop diseases were eating and destroying the standing crop. There was a disease called Karpa on bananas in Khandesh and a disease called Lalya on cotton at that time. Immediately, a research program was undertaken with the help of Central government to help the farmers out of this crisis.
Substantial assistance to the affected farmers

Shri Sharad Pawar provided immediate financial assistance to the farmers who were affected by the sudden onset of natural calamities like drought, hailstorm and heavy rains. Vidarbha Farmers affected by heavy rains were provided with the aid of 950 crores. He provided Rs 35,000 per hectare for the rehabilitation of drought-damaged orchards. During the drought, he also sent fodder and animal feed from co-operative societies in Gujarat.