Pawar's rain-soaked Satara speech completes a year
That speech is largely believed to have turned the political fortunes of the party, which was marred by large- scale defections to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly polls. It helped the NCP make major gains in Pune district winning 10 assembly seats, seven more than its 2014 tally.PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 18-10-2020 18:49 IST | Created: 18-10-2020 18:49 IST
NCP leaders on Sunday celebrated the first anniversary of party chief Sharad Pawar's iconic speech in Satara given amid pouring rain, which political observers believe became the turning point of the party's fortunes at the hustings. On October 18 last year, just three days before Maharashtra Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Mumbai, while Pawar was in Satara to campaign for the party candidate for the Lok Sabha bypolls.
Just when he was about to address the rally, it started raining heavily. Although he was offered an umbrella, he refused it and said the rain god has blessed the NCP, and Satara will do magic in the polls. He addressed the rally to campaign for Shriniwas Patil, NCP's candidate against Udayanraje Bhosale, the descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who had defected to the BJP after winning the seat in May on NCP ticket. The Satara Lok Sabha bypoll was held along with the assembly elections.
The photographs and videos of Pawar addressing the rally completely drenched in rain went viral on the social media and became an internet sensation. That speech is largely believed to have turned the political fortunes of the party, which was marred by large- scale defections to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly polls.
It helped the NCP make major gains in Pune district winning 10 assembly seats, seven more than its 2014 tally. The NCP finished third with 54 seats,13 more than its 2014 tally of 41 seats in the assembly polls. The Congress, which was relegated to the fourth position, also said that Pawar's Satara speech had helped the party.
On Sunday, several NCP leaders took to social media to celebrate the first anniversary of the speech. The party tweeted a video of how BJP's Devendra Fadnavis had said during his poll campaign that Pawar was finished. The NCP also highlighted PM Modi's statement that the party was slipping out of Pawar's hands.
Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule, the party's Baramati MP, took to Twitter to recall the speech and said Pawar was the"shakti" (strength) required to make a brave fight against all odds by staying firm on the battlefield. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted that Pawar was like a lightning and the Satara rally was a message to the "Delhi throne".