Sharad Pawar, 78, is seen to be the only leader of the opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance that has been addressing rallies in the run-up to the election in which the BJP and its partner Shiv Sena expect a smooth victory.
“They say I am 80 years old. Do you think I am old? I won’t sit quiet until the Sena-BJP government is removed in this state. And for that ‘Abhi toh main jawan hoon. Koi chinta karne ki kaaran nahi hai (I am still young. No one needs to worry),” Mr Pawar, the NCP chief, said at a rally in Kolhapur today.
The song “Abhi toh main Jawan hoon” is from the 1951 hit “Afsana” directed by Husanlal Bhagatram.
The BJP and the Sena have been mocking the opposition in Maharashtra, saying they appear to have given up.
Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray quipped, “Don’t worry about them. Their leader is in Bangkok. Sharad Pawar should not push himself so much. This is the time for him to sit at home.”
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said at another gathering: “We will retire Sharad Pawar permanently from social and political life after results of assembly elections are out.”