'Feast on chicken-mutton, press only Trumpeter button', Pawar kin to Baramati voters

Feast on chicken-mutton, press only Trumpeter button, Pawar kin to Baramati voters

As the contest for the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra gets more intense, the rivals -- Nationalist Congress Party (SP) and Nationalist Congress Party, have been making desperate attempts to woo the voters.

Pune: As the contest for the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra gets more intense, the rivals -- Nationalist Congress Party (SP) and Nationalist Congress Party, have been making desperate attempts to woo the voters. Hoping to defend the seat held by NCP (SP) Working President Supriya Sule, a 3-time MP, the entire Sharad Pawar clan has jumped into the grit and grime of the poll campaign, braving the blazing summer sun.

The 'target' is none other than ruling ally NCP President Ajit A. Pawar's wife Sunetra A. Pawar, who is likely to be nominated for the seat to wrest it from her 'nanad' Supriya Sule.

Giving a tough challenge, Ajit A. Pawar's 'bhabhi' -- Sharmila, the wife of his elder brother Shriniwas A. Pawar -- has been addressing small meetings and gatherings to boost Supriya Sule, and popularise the NCP (SP)'s new poll symbol, 'Trumpeter' among the masses.

At one such meeting on Monday with many women and young girls, Sharmila S. Pawar said that "soon, there will be many mouth-watering allurements coming your way from them (the other contender)", but cautioned people against the entrapment to grab their valuable votes.

"There will be many forms of enticements�?� all kinds of promises will be made to seek your votes. You can feast on all their chicken-mutton, but press only the 'Trumpeter' button," Sharmila A. Pawar exhorted the villagers in a rustic lingo that was apparently easily digested by the prospective voters.

Reiterating the need to elect Supriya Sule, Sharmila A. Pawar warned that in case the masses unwittingly fell for the lures, "then you will get to enjoy one bowl of mutton-chicken now, but later you would lament at them for the next five years" �?? reminiscent of a similar campaign style of jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Targeting the NCP-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) without taking any names, she pointed out that the people are intelligent and well aware of the current situation all around, plus it was their right to decide whom to elect.

"However, we are seeing that they are mouthing the name of Lord Ram, but in every home, there is a Mahabharat raging (discords). In such circumstances, it would be better to consider a 'known person' (Supriya Sule) rather than some utter stranger (Sunetra A. Pawar). It's imperative to re-elect the daughter of Baramati, Supriya Sule," she exhorted amid cheers and claps.

Rooting strongly for Supriya Sule, she said that "casting a vote for her is equal to supporting Sharad Pawar Saheb" and empowering her to raise the voice of the people of Baramati in the Parliament.

"Supriya Sule has never used the name of her illustrious father, and the Pawar family has never lost any election in this region�?� should we commit the sin of making Sharad Pawar Saheb's daughter lose the elections when she is doing an excellent job in the Parliament?" she gently questioned, as some people were seen shaking their heads and concurring.

Ahead of her likely nomination, Sunetra A. Pawar is diligently doing the rounds of the constituency daily, visiting remote hamlets, villages, towns, meeting people with folded hands, accepting their welcome 'aartis', offering prayers at temples, mosques or 'dargahs', and occasionally sharing a bite with the locals.

From Sharad Pawar's family, Karjat-Jamkhed MLA Rohit R. Pawar, his cousin Yugendra A. Pawar (son of Sharmila and Shriniwas A. Pawar), their party activists and thousands of supporters are moving around to ensure Supriya Sule's victory.

Even as the Pawar 'bhabhi-nanad' (Sunetra A. Pawar-Supriya Sule) campaign becomes shrill, speculation emerged that the ruling MahaYuti of Shiv Sena-BJP-NCP may give a new twist ahead of the last date for nominations (April 19).

Political circles were agog with the possibility of dropping Sunetra A. Pawar from Baramati and instead fielding the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) leader Mahadev J. Jankar �?? a prominent Dhangar caste leader �?? from Baramati to lock horns with Supriya Sule.

The entry of Jankar would kill several birds with one stone -- ensure a one-on-one contest with Supriya Sule, demolish all groupism among various MahaYuti groups in Baramati hostile to Sunetra A. Pawar, deflate the ambitions of people like Shiv Sena leader Vijay Shivtare who has vowed to stand as Independent with the sole aim to defeat Ajit A. Pawar's spouse, etc.

However, on Monday evening, NCP leader Amol Mitkari dismissed the speculation as 'rumours designed to misguide the people' and reiterated that Sunetra A. Pawar would be the official candidate from Baramati.

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