Longest serving MLA from Maharashtra Ganpatrao Deshmukh passes away

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Longest serving MLA from Maharashtra Ganpatrao Deshmukh passes away

Satara :Former minister and Maharashtra’s longest-serving elected representative GanpatraoDeshmukh passed away on Friday at the age of 94. He was critical for the past few days. Deshmukh, a member of the Peasants and Workers party (PWP), has set a record of being elected 11 times from Sangola constituency in Solapur and was an MLA for 55 years till 2019. In his entire career in electoral politics, Deshmukh contested 13 Assembly elections till 2014 and lost only twice – in 1972 and 1995. In 1995, he lost to a Congress candidate by a margin of merely 192 votes.

In 2019, he announced his retirement from active politics and did not contest the Assembly polls.

In the 2014 Assembly election, Deshmukh had defeated ShahajiBapuPatil by more than 25,000 votes. Interestingly, Deshmukh was mostly in the opposition, barring 1978 and 1999 when he briefly served as a minister – first in the Sharad Pawar-led government and the second time when the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) formed the government with support from PWP.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari condoled demise of the veteran. He said, “I was saddened to know about the demise of the senior-most leader of PWP and the longest term member of the state legislature GanpatraoDeshmukh. A model people’s representative, ShriDeshmukh maintained his chord with farmers, workers and ordinary citizens all his life. He was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. A man of peace and restraint, ShriDeshmukh was a fearless leader, having friends across the political spectrum. In his demise the state has lost an institution in the state legislature.”

“We have lost a simple man from politics. He has set a record of electing maximum times in Maharashtra, but for me it is important that he lived his life with simple and high thinking. He has also set an example that will remain a benchmark in the political world for years to come,” chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said in his condolence message.