Sharad Pawar rides ‘palki’ to Raigad Fort, blows NCP’s poll ‘Trumpet’

Raigad (Maharashtra): Marking an auspicious and emotional moment, Nationalist Congress Party (SP) President Sharad Pawar went atop the historic Raigad Fort and ceremonially unveiled the party’s new symbol, ‘Trumpeter’, amidst a resounding applause and cheers from a large gathering, here on Saturday afternoon.

Pawar (83) got off his vehicle at the base of the 4,400-feet high Raigad Fort, and was helped onto an open ‘palki’ (palanquin), that was hoisted by half a dozen muscled men for the short distance till the ropeway entrance.

Coming to the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj after over four decades, Pawar then hopped onto the Raigad Fort Ropeway and the hanging car took him atop in barely five minutes, where he was accorded a rousing welcome by his supporters thronging the venue since dawn.

He was escorted to the imposing statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, sported a special ‘turban’ (pheta), offered flowers and the brief ceremonies started with over a dozen ‘tutaris’ (Trumpet) held proudly by the trumpeters waiting for the signal to blow them in the chilly winds swishing on the majestic fort.

In a brief address, Pawar dedicated the ‘Tutari’ to the NCP (SP), terming it as “bugle of joy that will help restore peoples’ democracy”.

“The ‘Tutari’ heralds an era of struggle… For the masses, it will bring back democracy to the people… We will take inspiration from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the NCP (SP) will march ahead with the trumpet,” said Pawar.

He said that many kings and emperors came and went down in history, but only Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was called the ‘janata raja’ (peoples’ king), who served the ordinary folks.

Pawar committed that the party would strive to live up to the Chhatrapati’s ideals for an ideal, people-oriented regime after fighting the ideological war.

“If we want to change the current scenario in the state, we must make efforts to restore the peoples’ rule once again. Success will definitely follow struggle and sacrifice with the inspiration from the Chhatrapati and the Trumpet,” he exhorted.

Later, he dedicated a symbolic ‘Tutari’ to the NCP (SP) as senior leaders like Jayant Patil, Jitendra Awhad and others applauded and cheered him, the trumpeters lustily played it for some time.

It may be recalled that in July 2023, the NCP founded by Pawar 25 years ago split vertically, with the breakaway faction led by his nephew Ajit A. Pawar walking out.

This month (February 2024), the Election Commission of India (ECI) allotted the original NCP name to the Ajit Pawar group and also assigned its symbol of ‘Clock’.

Days later, the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar also ruled in favour of Ajit Pawar, leaving Sharad Pawar high-and-dry, without a proper name or polls symbol.

A couple of days ago, (February 22), the ECI allotted the ‘Trumpeter’ symbol to NCP (SP), which was warmly accepted by the party.

The ‘Tutari’ is associated with important and auspicious events, cultural, historical, political, religious or VIP events, has an easy recognition among the masses, plus enjoys a royal aura around it and boasts of instant recall value.

NCP (SP) supremo Sharad Pawar, Working President Supriya Sule, State President Jayant Patil, National GS Jitendra Awhad, MP Amol Kolhe, MLA Rohit R. Pawar, National Spokesperson Clyde Crasto, Chief Spokesperson Mahesh Tapase and other party leaders have endorsed the ECI’s award of ‘Tutari’.


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