Both Houses of state legislature yesterday extended warm greetings to the Maratha strongman, having a political career of nearly five decades, who turned 75 recently.

While Fadnavis, also Leader of House, moved a resolution congratulating Pawar in Legislative Assembly, the same was moved in the Legislative Council by the Leader of House and Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse.

"It was unfortunate that Pawar could not get the opportunity to become the first Marathi-speaking Prime Minister when he reached the pinnacle of his political career spanning 48 years. He could have been the first Marathi- speaking Prime Minister," Fadnavis said while lauding Pawar for his 'political acumen and administrative capabilities'.

Members cutting across party lines echoed Fadnavis. Prominent among them to hail Pawar, who turned 75 on December 12, were the Leader of Opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Congress), Jitendra Awhad (NCP), PWD Minister Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena), Sharad Sonone (MNS), Chhagan Bhujbal (NCP), Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde (BJP).

How Pawar, the erstwhile Congressman, missed the opportunity to become PM has always been a topic of intense political discussions.

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