NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday visited the residence of late Ganpatrao Deshmukh, who died at the age of 94 on July 30. Deshmukh was a stalwart of the Peasants & Worker Party (PWP). Pawar visited his home in Sangola in Solapur district and offered condolences to his kin. “It was Maharashtra's destiny to have such a reputed and charismatic leader,” he said. Pawar was unable to attend Deshmukh’s funeral on July 31 due to the ongoing Parliament session.
During his visit, Pawar recalled how Deshmukh had turned down his offer to become the minister during the Progressive Democratic Front government in 1977 led by Pawar in the state. “Ganpatrao was constantly urging me that Raigad district is PWP’s bastion and DB Patil, a veteran leader from the party, should be inducted in the Cabinet. Ultimately, Deshmukh agreed and he became the minister of employment guarantee scheme, which has been implemented not just in Maharashtra but across the country,” the NCP founder said.
“When I contested Lok Sabha polls from Mada, Ganpatrao told me not to come to Sangola, saying it was his responsibility to give me the lead which I got. Ganpatrao was not limited to Sangola. He was the leader of the people in the troubled, drought-stricken areas of Maharashtra,” Pawar said, adding that Ganpatrao was elected to the Assembly 11 times, and worked relentlessly for the cause of common man.
“A man who strives for people is no more. Ganpatrao was concerned about the problems of people, especially issues with regard to drinking and agricultural water in the drought-prone parts of Maharashtra. He was first elected to the state assembly in 1962,” recalled Pawar.
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