Sharad Pawar, the agriculture minister and chief of the Nationalist Congress Party, announced his retirement from active politics on Thursday.
Pawar said, “I don’t want to come to Parliament again. It has been 46 years continuously..., but I will continue to work for the party.” The Maratha strongman holds the envious record of never losing an election for public office in his entire political career, including the eight times that he has contested for Parliament since 1985, but in recent years he, his party and his family have come under fire for alleged acts of corruption.
As the curtain comes down on the political career of the 73-year-old, it is another signal of the generational shift under way in Indian politics. The Congress party has already done so by anointing Rahul Gandhi as the successor to the party’s president, Sonia Gandhi. Now Pawar has indicated he is moving on.