Popping the inflated balloon



Sharad Pawar is capable of a lot of things but lucidity and articulation in the English language is not one of them.

So I burst out laughing when I came across his latest statement that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who is hell bent upon anointing himself as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, is `like an inflated balloon which will burst soon.’’

The more inflated it gets, the sooner it pops, he added for better measure. Actually I thought nobody could have put it better – and perhaps that is because no one can know better than Pawar how soon an inflated balloon can burst.

Pawar himself was like an inflated balloon soon after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi when he thought there was now no one better than him in the Congress for the job of Prime Minister.

I can see the parallels with Modi. P V Narasimha Rao was then the Congress working president and much as is happening now with LK Advani, who is being driven out of Gujarat to contest the next polls from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Pawar had become the stumbling block in Rao’s way in 1991.

But Pawar was by far cleverer and more subtle. Rajiv had wanted to give the Lok Sabha ticket from Ramntek to Rao and had asked then Congress general secretary Janardhan Poojary to make sure Pawar would not oppose the move.

Pawar agreed but when the tickets were being discussed at the AICC meeting, Pawar told Rajiv “You can win either Ramtek or Maharashtra, not both.”

Meaning if he were asked to campaign for Rao, he would not be able to focus on other Lok Sabha seats, as Rao’s victory was an impossible task. Rajiv was shocked and upset but Rao bowed out gracefully to save everybody the embarrassment of pleading with Pawar.

He was in Nagpur when Rajiv was assassinated. Pawar was in Pune. Rao, who had just recovered from a cardiac surgery, had to be rushed to hospital after hearing the news but he recovered soon enough to call Pawar, then chief minister of Maharashtra, to pick him up from Nagpur en route to New Delhi for Rajiv’s funeral.

Pawar would not say an outright no but made excuses of not having enough fuel to land the aircraft in Nagpur when he would have had to fly over the city anyway.

He also made some mumblings about it being against the rules for anybody but a chief minister to use the state aircraft. Rao understood – and boarded a commercial flight and got there on time anyway.

But Pawar, as he put down the phone after talking to Rao, I am told, made a fatal mistake. He dismissed Rao contemptuously as “Toh matara!” and asked the people in that room in the state guest house, “Why does he now need to impress anybody? He should retire and take sanyas.”

Much like Advani who has put up a battle now against Modi, Rao did not give up the fight and when he won through, one of those men inside that guest house reported to the new Prime Minister exactly what had transpired at Pawar’s end of the conversation.

Rao, who spoke excellent Marathi, I am told, said little but “Asaa! Toh mala matara mhantoh (Oh! Hhe calls me an old man?”) Then he let it go with a shrug and an expressionless, “Baghu’ or `We shall see.”

I noticed that after that Rao made sure Pawar’s career declined. He was outmaneuvered into going from defence minister to chief minister (or he would have been prime minister sooner).

He also went from being leader of the opposition to just an ordinary MP and then had to split the Congress for survival. He had got an inflated ego again in 1998 when the Congress swept elections in Maharashtra, the 40-odd seats from the state making the crucial difference between a two and a three figure tally in the Lok Sabha.

Sonia Gandhi gave him the full credit but he mistakenly believed that myth. At the next elections, he contested as the NCP president, his party got only six seats from Maharashtra and the NCP was behind both the Congress and the Shiv Sena who came in first and second respectively in terms of numbers at the 1999 assembly elections.

The intervening years, I would say, has been a lesson in humility for the man who would still be Prime Minister but is now going about it slowly, secretively and in a very very careful and clever fashion.

Pawar knows by now that you cannot win out of the mainstream and that he has to contest polls in alliance with the Congress or he could be entirely decimated. His best hope is at the head of a third front government supported by the Congress and he seems to be working shrewdly in that direction and so must now pin-prick Narendra Modi to bring him down to earth.

Personally, I think Modi is a more inflated balloon than Pawar ever was and I have reason to believe he is peaking too early in the game — and one has to look to Nagpur for the reason.

Much as people are dismissing Advani as an old fool who cannot let go of his ambition to become Prime Minister, I actually think of him as an old fox who might still, well, outfox Modi closer to the elections than most Modi supporters tend to believe.

I also believe that all three men are destined never to be Prime Minister but, between the three, I would put my money on Sharad Pawar.

Only look at the mess that of cricket administration in India and one wonders why Pawar, who started that mess, is the only one who is in the clean today.

The real player here is Sharad Pawar and he is capable of outfoxing all the foxes. He will make sure that this time round he does not go up like an inflated balloon himself again. This is his last chance, as much as it is Advani’s and, of course, Narendra Modi’s. May the best man win.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 2.41 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
  • CArahulgrover88

    hahaha , when will people come out of cocoo world and see reality , comparing pawar with Modi ,nonsense ,even in 1992 , nobody knew pawar outside Maharashtra, while nearly 36% Indians wants Namo as PM while only 12% wants RG as PM , regarding Advani , i think blogger doesn’t after 2008 , BJP fought 2009 as NDA PM and even in 2004 , its was believed that advani will take over from ABV and both the times BJP lost , people of India rejected advani twice and she still thinks stands a chance ..lols , Advani cant even win his gandhinagar seat with the support of Namo – this is clear example of ivory tower blogs – regarding Nagpur – Mark my words – advani will not even contest 2014 election,RSS has conveyed this to him

    [Reply]

    Prateek Reply:

    She is paid to be ignorant and write non sense.

    [Reply]

  • Janak Singh

    Sharad Pawar is the Lord of Corruption. Lacks guts. The Australians pushed him from the stage. Imagine if this had been done to Bhairon Singh Sekhawat the Australians would have got a dose of appropriate medicine.

    [Reply]

  • rohit

    There was no internet in 1992!!

    [Reply]

  • Nilesh Wagle

    Sujata Cricket mess is nothing if u look at Pawar’s 40 odd years political (looting) career. But he is truly a extreme cunning fox made everybody fools despite looting literally BILLIONS.

    just a FEW of Pawar’s looting …..

    Pawar is the oldest and THE BIGGEST corrupt in Indian history ever !
    Just few highlights of his long career in corruption.

    ……Pawar was the chief minister of Maharastra under whose protection and blessings Dawood ibrahim grew his empire from a chhadak chhap tapori to organised underworld gang to a international terrorist Pawar provided safe passage to dawood n his chamcha for escaping to Dubai after Mumbai serial blasts.He allowed misuse of ports to unload Dawoods weapons and drugs throughout 80’s and 90’s.

    ……Pawar first time breached barier of scams in 1000 crore in Indian history by masterminding stamp paper scandal with his aide Telgi.

    ….Pawar is middlemen between swiss banks and other overseas safe haven for all politicians black money with his partner Hasan Ali…..which runs in thousands and thousands of crores hawala.

    ….Pawar as agriculture minister imported junk food grain from overseas at higher price and same time exported Indian food grain at lower price so he can make BIG money in dallaali. Even supreme court said to agriculture minister that on one side hungry people r dying and other side food grain is rotting in govt storage !

    ….Still Pawar was not happy to destroy aam adami’s life enough so he took over BCCI/cricket which is only joy for miserable Indian people to forget day to day struggle ….and he launched circus called IPL …so Indian cricket is gone downwards only after that and even tried to buy Pune team for his daughter despite being clear conflict of interest ! He changed IPL rules so he and Srinivasan can buy IPL teams. Although Sahara outbid him for Pune team.

    …..Under Pawar’s corrupt watch as agriculture minister few lakhs Farmers committed suicide in his own state never mind rest of India ! still shamelessly defends and say now suicide rate is coming down !! In Indian history never in such large numbers farmer committed suicide ! Not even during British rule !

    ….Pawar has appointed so many corrupt chamcha who r doing scams in THOUSANDS of crores and earning for him..like Ajit pawar had done dozens of scam in last 10 years …latest 72,000 crore irrigation scam. or Praful Patel who destroyed Air India so other private players get benefit !

    …..for Lavasa less said is better they bent all rules and regulation for this project even change course of rivers for this project ..he never worried a bit about Vidarbha farmers dying without water but for lahhasa , he will even change rivers direction !!

    Well list is simply endless and YES as Congress think 72 crore is minimum amount for Central ministers scam for Pawar it stars at atleast 5000 crores !
    And this crook Pawar always hide like all other crook under sickular grab ! In India u can get away with any type corruption just raise sickular flags !

    HE LAUNCHED NCP just because he didn’t want to work under A FOREIGNER SONIA BUT HE is the BIGGEST arse leeker OF sonia in entire India may be second only to Dogvijay Singh.

    Take Raja,kalmadi,lalu,sheela dixit,paswan,all congressi,mayavati,jagan,Vadera,yeddi,karuna needy,dogvijay,mulayam,all communist,all corrupt reddys,sibbal,khurshid,bal thakrey,amar singh and MULTIPLY that number by 10,000 and u will get one Pawar !

    Twisted mouth Pawar deserve slaps form all 1.2 Billion Indians not only form one youth Harvinder as he got last year.

    SUCH A SHAME THAT PAWAR STILL GETS ELECTED BY F00L VOTERS !! EVEN GOD CAN NOT SAVE THIS COUNTRY !

    [Reply]

  • Nikunj Shah

    How come all your blogs are pro-Congress and anti-BJP ? I fail to understand this. Your criticism of Congress is also in such a way as if you are praising them and on the other hand, leave no stone unturned in bashing BJP, Modi etc. Why this bias as a journalist ? All your past blogs are testimony to this fact. As per your idea, we must turn a blind eye to all the scams committed by UPA, the arrogance of UPA ministers, the scams of Sharad Pawar and support UPA ? Thats ridiculous. How can one not doubt your credentials as a journalist (proximity towards UPA) when you are posting all articles and blogs against BJP despite Congress being no better when it came to scams ? You mean we must allow UPA third term to loot the nation more and more ? Clearly, your pro-Congress blogs are testimony to the above views.

    Despite scams after scams, according to you, people should cheer for UPA. Thankfully, voters don’t make decisions based on your so-called “intelligent” views as is evident in the recent Gujarat bypolls.

    [Reply]

  • Nikunj Shah

    What do you have to say about BJP winning the Gujarat Bypolls in Congress ruled constituencies ? How easily you play down Congress’s defeat by keeping mum but highlight BJP’s defeat as if you personally have won ?

    And your previous blog about Shinde, had it been a BJP minister who had given such an excuse, you would have left no time in slamming him, why ? Because he is from a party you don’t support. But since its Congress, you use everything you can to defend their ministers ( as if they are your relatives).

    To all those who are reading this comment, read her past blogs to ascertain what I have been saying.

    Perfect example of a fully-biased journalist. (Just read her blogs on Modi during Gujarat election – when she was proven wrong, she put the blame on voters of Gujarat rather than her analysis, she doesn’t accept her mistake, instead claims the voters of Gujarat held Hindutva dearer..blah blah..).

    [Reply]

  • Luellasmith

    I do not Know that which one of the best candidate for become a good Goverance in the India ?In other case BJP want Modi is become a Prime Minister whenever Congress want to make Rahul Gandhi as a Prime Minister Candidate and NCP want Sarad pawar may be Prime Minister .

    http://www.prlog.org/12143342-6pm-coupon-code-2013-free-shipping-10-off-on-6pm-offerings.html

    [Reply]

  • pappu

    i think this article has been written by sharad pawar himself

    [Reply]

  • patriot

    They will never learn to behave only they want more money, scams and loot and do not think about country or its people and all this is because of our people who are getting them elected again and again. Present government and its affiliated parties know very well they will get solid 20 % votes from minorities and rest from villagers on caste basis.

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    kindly read it carefully. Modi is mentioned.

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    I am not accusing media — I am one of them. But certainly some moments require sensitive handling. ask the pilgrims and their families . i ventilated what they said

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    thanks

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    its not deliberate. RSS was everywhere when quake had rocked uttar kashi. This time I did not see them so active. Yes ramdev did send relief material that even ongc did . so

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    Its only BJP/Congress right now. maybe on some more on some other issues.

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    thanks ankit and disha

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    thanks

    [Reply]

  • sunita

    politicians —–

    [Reply]

  • M.R.Iyer

    Too clever by half – aptly sums up Pawar the Politician. He can never understand that in politics, there are also other wily players in the game. Touché.

    [Reply]