Women's Day 2021: ‘Be as honest as
possible towards your dream,’ says MoS Aditi Tatkare

NCP youth leader Aditi Tatkare is the first-time legislator and Minister of State in Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led council of ministers looking after eight portfolios. She believes in equality and wants to strive to meet the expectations of the party, her seniors and people in particular. In an interview, Aditi explains her rise in politics and her priorities. Excerpts from the interview:

Did you expect that during your first stint as a legislator you would be a minister too?

I am grateful to our party supremo, Sharad Pawar, who has always been of the opinion that women should be given equal opportunity and importance — be it politics, bureaucracy or any sector for that matter. I got this opportunity as minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. I would not say that I am the best choice, but I would like to work to meet the expectations of the party, seniors and people in general.

What motivated you to make a foray into politics?

I started from 2008-09 by campaigning for my father, Sunil Tatkare, for the assembly election from the newly-formed Shrivardhan constituency. In 2011 and 2012, NCP MP Supriya (Sule) tai came up with the Yuvati NCP Congress initiative to empower young women. That is how I got a platform. Though I had a political background, I had never thought of entering electoral politics. Gradually, I took a liking to it.

Tell us about your experience as the President of Raigad Zilla Parishad?

My grandfather started his political career through local body elections like Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Committee and Zilla Parishad. My father too started from Zilla Parishad. He always said that if you want to pursue a career in politics you need to start from the ground. That’s how I got an opportunity in 2017, after 10 years in politics, to contest the election for Zilla Parishad. I got a chance to work in Raigad. Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) and NCP, who had always been at loggerheads, came together for the first time. I worked as the President under the guidance of my father and PWP Chairman, Jayant Patil. Zilla Parishad gives you an idea of administration — it is a mini Mantralaya. You get to know basic problems and how administration works. Learnings from there are helping me now while working as the Minister of State in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

Tell us about your achievements as Zilla Parishad President.

Zilla Parishad tenure gave me an idea of what should be the priorities while interacting with people — their basic problems, and what people expect from us that. I did get an opportunity for two and half years to work as the ZP President and address a few issues. But, as a Minister today, I got more opportunities to make Raigad one of most developed districts. It is recognised as an industrial developing district, but we want to make Raigad a tourist attraction, too.

It depends on how we work with the given opportunity. I believe in equality. I would like to work honestly in any given opportunity. In whichever field you are, intention is important. If you have a clear intention of working for the people, other problems can be dealt with. Be as honest as possible towards your dream.

Can you give us an insight into your role as the Minister of State?

I am fortunate that two of my portfolios are led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — the Information and Public Relations, and Law and Judiciary; two departments (Tourism and Protocol) are with Cabinet Minister Aaditya Thackeray, Subhash Desai as the Cabinet Minister of Industry and Mining, one with Sunil Kedar and another with Sandipan Bhumre. I am fortunate to work under the guidance of CM Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in my first stint as a Minister of State. I wish to work more towards Tourism, Industry and Sports.

Politics is said to be a male-dominated field? What’s your take on that?

It depends on how we work with the given opportunity. I believe in equality. I would like to work honestly in any given opportunity. In whichever field you are, intention is important. If you have a clear intention of working for the people, other problems can be dealt with. Be as honest as possible towards your dream.

What can be done to bridge the gap between rural and urban lifestyle?

Though the gap between rural and urban lifestyle is different, we need to reduce the gap, especially, in basic amenities that are provided. Health, water, electricity, in terms of sports we have to ensure that every taluka or district has their own sports complex. Such kinds of facilities should not be discriminated among the urban and rural.

How did you handle two major crises: Covid and Nisarga Cyclone?

Covid is one of the crises which is new and rare for everyone. As a government we tried to do whatever we could. As for Nisarga, the state government went beyond the stipulated limits to help people. Prevailing norms of the Centre are quite limited in terms of assistance. The state government did not wait for the Centre to provide help; we went beyond the limits for construction of damaged homes. Such a cyclone had happened around 100 years ago, and not much data if available on it. Southern states do face such calamities, but as a region we faced it for the first time. Like Covid-19, we did whatever we could at that point of time.

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