How Leaders from Eknath Khadse to Pankaja Munde got Sidelined and Devendra Fadnavis became ‘boss’

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Mumbai, 30th June 2022: After the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray, the possibilities of 51-year-old Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis becoming the Chief Minister have become strong.

The battle for power between the Marathas and the Brahmins is also linked to the time of the Maratha Empire. Despite this, Fadnavis has gone from being a councilor to the youngest mayor of Nagpur and the second youngest chief minister of the state in three decades. During this, his politics is discussed not only in the state but also in the center.

Factionalism benefited and cleverly progressed

The talk dates back to April 12, 2013, when Fadnavis was made the Maharashtra BJP president. During that time this post was being held by Ballarpur MLA Sudhir Mungantiwar, whose second term was being opposed by Gopinath Munde. The special thing is that during that time two factions of the BJP were active, one was commanded by Munde, while the other was in the hands of the current Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. It was said that as soon as Fadnavis was made the chief, the tussle between the two groups also ended.

He was considered close to Munde, but he never said anything against Gadkari. Rather, after becoming the president, he first reached Gadkari’s residence and took blessings. Vinod Tawde’s name was also popular during that time, but the then party president Rajnath Singh handed over the command to Fadnavis.

Never raised the demand for the post openly

Experts say that after becoming the president, he won the trust of the central leadership of the BJP. At the same time, he never kept his ambitions open and never expressed his desire to become the Chief Minister. It is said that on the contrary, leaders like Eknath Khadse kept making claims to become the CM. Apart from this, he also took Munde and Gadkari factions with him in the party.

Even Modi’s favorite

Experts see the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Fadnavis. It is believed that even Modi listens to his words. Along with this, he has brought many projects and proposals for the states through the Center. In the 2014, elections, PM Modi was looking for a new face for the state and Fadnavis, a Brahmin coming from Vidarbha, fulfilled this need. From the mayor of Nagpur Municipal Corporation to being elected to the assembly, Fadnavis’s political stature has steadily increased. His clean image and close relationship with Nagpur are also a big reason for this.

Glimpses of Fadnavis’s Career

 Fadnavis is considered an experienced public representative. Along with this, he has also been awarded many awards. These include the ‘Best Parliamentarian’ award from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Nonetheless, the beginning of his political career can be seen from the 90s.

Fadnavis, who was a councilor at the age of 22, became a mayor at the age of 27. He won the election of MLA for the first time in the year 1999. Son of late MLC Gangadhar Rao, Fadnavis, is the fourth chief minister of the state to hail from Vidarbha.

 Fadnavis Vs Khadse

 Eknath is currently in discussion in Maharashtra. However, this time the center of discussion is Eknath Shinde. But if we talk about the career graph of Fadnavis, then the name of OBC face Eknath Khadse is mentioned. Before his death in a road accident, Munde was being considered the chief ministerial candidate, but later it was said that the responsibility might go to Khadse, a close aide of Munde.

In contrast, the top leadership of the BJP promoted the name of the younger face and less experienced Fadnavis. It was said that in the absence of Munde, the BJP did not want to support any faction and announced a common name. The special thing is that even the BJP, aware of Khadse’s political stature, did not underestimate him and made him the number two leader in the Fadnavis cabinet.

After this, Khadse’s name came into many controversies. In the meantime, he resigned from the post of minister. The situation was such that the party did not give him a ticket from the seat he was holding since 1980. Along with this, the Fadnavis government had also started several investigations against him.

Political image of Pankaja Munde

In the MLC elections held this year, late Munde’s daughter Pankaja Munde did not get a ticket. He spoke fiercely against it. State BJP president Chandrakant Patil had claimed that he and Fadnavis had recommended Pankaja’s name. In media reports, it is told by quoting sources that since the defeat in 2019, Pankaja’s activities were under question in the party.

She accused the BJP of defeat from her father’s stronghold Parli. Not only this, she had sidelined the state unit of the BJP in a program last year. “My leaders are Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda,” she had said. It is said that after the defeat in 2019, she was expected to become the state president of the BJP or the leader of the opposition in the council.

Talking to The Indian Express, a senior party functionary had said, “It makes sense to have political ambitions and work for them. But if you think you can have a dictatorship in a cadre-based organisation, it will not work. Especially when you are being seen by the central leadership including Modi and Shah.”