It takes tremendous efforts and real sacrifices to win hearts and it isn’t often that we hear this with regard to politicians. Winning multiple assembly elections consecutively, representing a different political party every time, seems next to impossible. But Babanrao Pachpute of Shrigonda, fondly known as Dada has been able to achieve this feat with insurmountable sacrifice and perseverance. As someone who strives for his people day in and day out, and for his selfless philosophy, Dada is renowned not only in Shrigonda but in all of Maharashtra.
Through Dada’s struggle for the betterment of Shrigonda, we understand, that the political party doesn't matter, but it is the person who strives for his people with dedication, who gets the support of the people.
Babandada's success in Maharashtra’s Assembly elections is tremendous, which itself is a testimony to his admiration, popularity and respect among the people. He won four times consecutively with a clear majority in 1980-1985, 1985-1990, 1990-1995 and 1995-1999, and every time fought the elections representing a different election symbol. In the year 1990 Dada was appointed as the Minister of State, in the Ministry of Home affairs, in the cabinet of the then chief minister of Maharashtra, Sudhakarrao Naik. During his term he had to face the 1991 Mumbai riots. Dada worked and strived to take control of the situation and later made demands to improvise the law enforcement machinery.
In the elections of 1999-2004 he had to face defeat. During that period stalwarts like Narayan Rane, Manohar Joshi, Sharad Pawar and Gopinath Munde persuaded him to joint their respective parties. But Dada had given his word to Sharad Pawar, and in the year 1999 he was elected as the Maharashtra President of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). During that period Dada toiled tirelessly to expand and establish the party and took the party to unchartered frontiers. His efforts bore fruit in the assembly elections of 2004-2009 when he won the election by a tremendous margin and was appointed as the Forest Minister of Maharashtra. During his tenure as the forest minister, the budget allocated to the Ministry was scarce, yet Dada minutely studied and took the necessary steps to benefit the forests of Maharashtra.
Instead of hiding behind the stereotypical slogans like “झाडे लावा झाडे जगवा” he urged the people of Maharashtra to recognize the importance of conservation and to not to cut down the forests. He revived many stalled projects by mediating between the Revenue Ministry and the Water Conservation Ministry. He encouraged the protectors of these forests, the Adivasis, to intiate small industries and also appointed many forest rangers and other office bearers, a total of 2200 personnel in the department. The income generated through forests, like tourism etc. increased manifold and generated revenue of 4000 Crores. Taking all of this into account, when Dada won the elections of 2009-2014, he took charge as the Tribal Development Minister of Maharashtra and diligently worked towards his cause.
In 2014, Dada joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of the then president of the party Amit Shah. He fought the assembly election and secured more than 85,000 votes, but unfortunately the lotus didn’t bloom in Shrigonda, and Dada lost the election by a margin of mere 12,000 votes. When asked about this defeat, Dada smiles and says “I woke up the next day, and continued to strive even harder for the people of Shrigonda”.
Seeing the amount of efforts that he has put in, Dada was appointed as the official candidate of the BJP for the upcoming assembly elections of 2019. Amongst many renowned personalities who came to Shrigonda to canvass for Babanrao Pachpute, are the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadanvis, The Union Minister of Textiles and Member of Parliament from Amethi, Smriti Irani, and Neurosurgeon and Member of Parliament from Ahmednagar(South) Dr. Sujay Vikhe Patil. Dada is confident the people of Shrigonda will support him for all his dedication and hard work.
Words fall short to describe the work that Dada has done. He has brought Shrigonda to the forefront of Maharashtra, and has facilitated its economic and educational growth, making it a flourishing municipal council. It wouldn't be unwise to say, that Maharashtra would benefit if such a multifaceted personality like Babanrao Pachpute, who has an aura of his own, wins the upcoming elections.
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