The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s family to not gather and celebrate Diwali together at Baramati. In addition, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and party Member of the Parliament (MP) Supriya Sule will also not meet party workers and well wishers on the auspicious Diwali Padva day to avoid crowding. A joint statement has been issued on behalf of the Pawar family. Instead, they have urged people to exchange Diwali greetings on phone or via social media.
Diwali has been an occasion where the Pawar family members gather not just from India but from abroad to celebrate at the family house in Baramati. The Pawar family, in an appeal, said, “Celebrate a safe Diwali at home by following the COVID-19 norms. After the defeat of the virus, let's celebrate the next Diwali in Baramati with traditional fervor.”
Party workers and well wishers too throng to Baramati to personally wish Pawar and others. “Every year, on Diwali, the Pawar family comes to Baramati and celebrates Diwali together with the people of Baramati. Lakhs of colleagues and well-wishers from all over the state come to Baramati to meet the Pawar family. This event is a source of joy and excitement for all. However, the tradition of collective Diwali has to be temporarily discontinued this year due to the pandemic,” reads the joint statement.