Modi, Sonia share stage at Pawar’s birthday celebration

December 11, 2015 03:44 am | Updated March 24, 2016 02:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi shared a stage for the first time in over a year on Thursday when they attended the 75th birthday celebrations of the former Union Minister Sharad Pawar at Vigyan Bhavan.

The last time Ms. Gandhi shared a stage with Mr. Modi was at last year’s Ramlila here. Recently, the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and she visited the Prime Minister to discuss Parliament’s legislative agenda.

Mr. Modi described Mr. Pawar’s political career as one born out of productive pursuits. Praising Mr. Pawar’s modern and scientific approach to agriculture and his contribution to the agriculture sector, the Prime Minister released a book, On My Terms , written by Mr Pawar.

Ms. Sonia Gandhi said: “He was CM four times and is still remembered for his effective leadership.” She stressed that his great political skills had ensured his wide acceptability across party lines.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Dr. Manmohan Singh as well as leaders of other political parties were present.

Mr. Pawar, who was first elected to the Maharashtra Assembly in 1967, was Maharashtra Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Minister.

His party colleagues, Praful Patel, D.P. Tripathi and daughter Supriya Sule, have banded together to head the “non-party” Sharad Pawar Amrit Mahotsav Samiti to celebrate his 75th birthday.

After the function in Delhi and those in Mumbai (December 12), Pune (December 20) and Baramati, there will be programmes through the year in different parts of the country.

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