“The whole world knows what is my caste… I have never tried to hide it,” Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar proclaimed on Tuesday.
Interacting with media persons, Pawar, 82, dismissed a recent purported document in English claiming that he belonged to the OBC category.
“Some people have made that paper in English viral… I have the certificate of the Maharashtra Education Society school which is the genuine one. I am a Maratha and its there in all my documents. I have never attempted to conceal it…” he said.
He said that he had full respect for the OBCs, but he had no hesitation in admitting to his Maratha caste by birth.
Pawar also said that he had never played caste or social politics and would never do it in future, but reiterated to take any steps to secure justice for various communities.
The entire Pawar clan had gathered for the annual Diwali celebrations at Sharad Pawar’s Govindbaug residence where thousands of people from all over Maharashtra had turned up to mark their presence in the tradition continued by the family for over 50 years.
Pawar and daughter and NCP Working President Supriya Sule were seen meeting and greeting the party activists and admirers since 6 a.m., many bending to touch the NCP supremo’s feet and he reciprocated with folded hands or thumping the backs of some.
The visitors, comprising nearly 70 percent youth, came from Vidarbha, north Maharashtra, Marathwada, Konkan, Mumbai and other regions of the state.
Referring to the absence of his nephew and breakaway faction leader, Ajit Pawar at the event, both Pawar and Sule pointed out that he is unwell, down with dengue since the past over two weeks and was following medical advice.
However, later Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar called on his grand-uncle, while another grand-nephew and NCP-SP MLA Rohit Rajendra Pawar was away in Beed to attend a party related function.