8-time MLA, ex-minister A T Pawar passes away
NASHIK: Senior NCP leader and former state minister Arjun Tulshiram Pawar (80) passed away on Wednesday in Mumbai after prolonged illness(लंबे बीमारी). He breathed his last at a hospital. The mortal remains of Pawar were being brought to Nashik and the last rites will be performed on Thursday. An eight-time MLA, Pawar was considered one of the tallest political personalities of Nashik district. He represented Kalwan, a constituency reserved for Scheduled Tribes. However, he had lost the 2014 state assembly election. Pawar was the minister of state for tribal welfare in the Congress-NCP government led by Vilasrao Deshmukh in 1999. Fondly called 'AT', Pawar was virtually(वास्तव में) a messiah(मसीहा) for the tribals and they supported him irrespective of his party affiliation. He has been associated with Congress (thrice MLA on Congress ticket), Bharatiya Janata Party (twice MLA) and then the Nationalist Congress Party (thrice MLA).
"He had perfect understanding of what the tribals wanted and knew their needs. He knew the pulse of the tribal fraternity(भ्रातृत्व) and they rewarded him in every polls that he contested. For tribals 'AT' was the party," recalled Jaywant Jadhav, MLC.
Born on December 1, 1938, Pawar, had masters in politics and joined politics in 1967. Pawar is survived by wife and two sons.
Former minister of state Vinayakdada Patil remembered him as 'Bhagirath' who brought water to Kalwan and further downstream. "Kalwan has got the fame of being '(water) tanker-mukta (free)' taluka and the credit goes to AT who since 1967 stressed that water from Nar, Par and Bhegu - the west flowing rivers can be diverted eastwards and help irrigation. He was so confident about it that the state government finally decided to support him and construct water diversion scheme(जल मोड़ योजना)," Patil said.