Maharashtra assembly pays homage to Munde
Mumbai: Maharashtra assembly today paid tributes to BJP leader and Union Minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident on Tuesday, describing him as a mass leader full of life.
The House adopted a ‘Motion of Gratitude’ moved by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who described Munde as a man full of enthusiasm whose life was cut short at its peak.
The Motion of Gratitude was moved and adopted since a Condolence Motion had already been passed the day Munde died.
Chavan said Munde was the rural face of BJP, seen as an urban party.
“Munde never took elections lightly and was always busy planning and strategising his next moves. He was extremely enthusiastic about the coming assembly elections. What were his wishes and whether they would have been accepted will never be known now,” Chavan said apparently hinting at the late leader’s Chief Ministerial ambition.
“In our last conversation over telephone, he was very enthusiastic about his rural development portfolio and told me the details of the ministry’s budget and how he wanted to use his position for the development of rural Maharashtra,” Chavan recalled.
Chavan said Munde could make friends beyond politics and stick to that friendship.
Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse, in an emotional speech, said Munde had met state BJP leaders on June 1 to discuss the upcoming assembly elections.
“As he was delegating responsibilities, I told him that we would meet again after a fortnight when the ongoing Monsoon Session ends. He said who has so much time,” Khadse recalled.
He said Munde’s leadership blossomed after the BJP entered into an alliance with the Shiv Sena.
“He persuaded the BJP leadership to tie up with the Shiv Sena after the Bal Thackeray-led party captured the Aurangabad municipal corporation,” he reminisced.
“The Krishna valley development corporation was his idea to ensure welfare of farmers,” he said and described Munde as a affectionate person who never felt threatened by the rise of juniors.
Industries Minister Narayan Rane, under whom Munde was Deputy Chief Minister in 1999, said the late BJP leader had exceptional command on rural issues.
PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal lauded Munde for his contributions to the backward classes.
“Munde was the first in BJP to support our demand for OBC census. He would always introduce me as his OBC leader even though we belonged to different parties,” he said.
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai said Munde was a large-hearted leader.
Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said Munde was instrumental in breaking the back of the underworld in Mumbai as state’s Home Minister.
“Leaders like Vilasrao Deshmukh, Rajesh Pilot, Madhavrao Scindia and Gopinath Munde are not created overnight. It is heart wrenching when fate snatches them away suddenly and so cruelly,” he said.