Several years ago, at a public rally in Pune, an old man stood up and shouted “Sharad Pawar ki Jai”. Pawar, who was addressing the gathering stopped his speech mid-way and stared hard at the old man, who continued to chant the slogan. Several minutes went by. Suddenly, the leader uttered a name and asked the old man if he had identified him correctly.
The old man was thrilled and replied in the affirmative. As he was about to sit down, Pawar publicly reminisced about a campaign, when the same man had fed him jowar bhakris and raw onions as a snack. The memory triggered tears in the eyes of the old man and earned Pawar a thunderous applause. Such is NCP chief, former Maharashtra chief minister and former Union minister Sharad Pawar’s people-connect that few can emulate.