Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Seeking 4th Term, Supriya Sule Vows to Take Forward Sharad Pawar's Legacy

Supriya Sule, daughter of NCP leader Sharad Pawar, dismisses the family feud with nephew Ajit Pawar as an emotional issue, asserting that the "real NCP is Sharad Pawar" himself.

Photo via Team Supriya Sule
NCP Sharad Pawar faction candidate and 3 time MP Supriya Sule during campaign rally in Baramati Photo via Team Supriya Sule

Pawar’s daughter and Baramati Lok Sabha candidate Supriya Sule speaks to Shweta Desai

You have represented Baramati in Parliament for three terms. How different is this election for you?

Every election is important. For me, politics is about service and serving the nation, the state, the district and our people. All elections are the same.

This time your political opponent, Sunetra Pawar, is from the family. Is it an emotional election for you―the one that will determine who is the insider and who is the outsider?

Not at all. I’ve never fought with my family. I’ve never asked my family for anything. I don’t mix my professional life with my emotions. If you have to assume responsibility, you can’t be trapped in emotions. For me, my country comes first, then my state, my party and my family, in that order.

Members of the opponent Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Ajit Pawar faction are circulating a clip of your past speeches where you concede that Baramati’s persistent drought-induced water issued can be resolved only by Ajit Pawar.

I’ve never criticised him since he left the party. I’ve maintained complete dignity and silence. I haven’t forgotten that we have worked together so closely. It would reflect on me if I criticise him. There are enough videos where he has praised my work, but I don’t make it viral. Ajit Pawar is not contesting against me. The question people should be asking is whose voice is going to be heard in Delhi.

Is it a challenge to fight the election without the NCP’s original name and traditional election symbol, clock?

What’s the point of crying over spilt milk and waste time? We need to accept the situation and move on. We know it is injustice. This party was formed by Sharad Pawar. He led it from the front for 25 years. Absolute injustice was done to him and Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackray, as both parties were taken away from the founders.

Will this election victory determine who the real NCP is?

The real NCP is Sharad Pawar. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari people know Baramati as Sharad Pawar’s. You can’t separate the NCP, Sharad Pawar and Baramati from each other.

Are you taking forward the legacy of Sharad Pawar?

No one is. Legacy is not something you inherit. People say Y B Chavan’s legacy was taken forward by Sharad Pawar, but they were not related by blood. Today, Sharad Pawar is known as the son of Y B Chavan. In public life, it (legacy) doesn’t have to be carried by blood relations.

Members of your party have accused your rival candidate, Sunetra Pawar, as an ‘outsider’ and defended you as the ‘insider’, the real Pawar.

Ajit Pawar has raised hundreds of comments against me personally and I’ve not responded to them even once. I’ve remained silent and chose to maintain a dignified silence. This election is not about my relationship with Ajit Pawar. This election is about unemployment, price rise and the agrarian crisis. Will farmers’ issue go away because of the conversations at Pawar family’s dinner table? The government is not addressing the real issues.

What issues do you wish to address if you win for the fourth term?

I want to focus on the issues of water, climate change and pollution. They are integrated and connected. Our education, agriculture and healthcare are all dependent on it.

What are the achievements in Baramati under your tenure?

Baramati is a high-performing constituency… the whole country is talking about it (smiling); it has to be good. A lot of Union government schemes have been implemented flawlessly by a very good team.

Will the party’s split and the feud with Ajit Pawar hurt your chances of winning?

Time is the greatest healer (smiling).