NCP chief Sharad Pawar, the key architect of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition in Maharashtra, turned 80 on Saturday.
Pawar was instrumental in the formation of the NCP-Congress's unlikely tie-up with the Shiv Sena last year, after the Sena fell out with its ally BJP following the assembly polls.
The NCP supremo is known for his cordial relationship with many political leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even though he remains the prime target of the BJP in Maharashtra.
However, on several occasions, Modi has lauded NCP chief Sharad Pawar. On one such occasion in 2016, when Modi visited Manjri (Near Pune) to inaugurate an exhibition at Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI), an autonomous cane growers’ body headed by Pawar, he lauded the developmental work by the NCP chief and his concern for farmers and Agri sector.
As per the report by HT, Modi did not just stop at it, went ahead and said, "I have no hesitation in accepting that Pawar held my hand and taught me to walk in my early days in Gujarat."
“I have seen that Sharadrao finds time for farmers and the agriculture sector despite his hectic political schedule,” Modi added while lauding Pawar for his 50 years of ‘unbeaten innings’ in electoral politics.
The Prime Minister also greeted Sharad Pawar on his 80th birthday on Saturday.
"Best wishes to @PawarSpeaks Ji on his birthday. May Almighty bless with good health and a long life," Modi tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies)