In a politically significant gesture, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis received praise from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national chief Amit Shah, who was in Beed on Saturday to inaugurate a memorial dedicated to late party leader Gopinath Munde. Shah made several references to Fadnavis’ work in the state, called him a popular CM and by the end, gave enough indication to show that Fadnavis still enjoyed support of the top leadership in the BJP.
Shah and Fadnavis, along with a host of other political leaders, had come to Beed in an event organised by Munde’s daughter and rural development minister Pankaja, on his second birth anniversary after his death. Pankaja and her supporters have constructed the memorial, called ‘Gopinath Gadh’ in Munde’s hometown of Beed, spread over 18 acres.
The memorial includes his Samadhi, a large statue of Munde as well as an exhibition offering insights into his life’s story. Shah began his speech by calling Fadnavis a ‘Lokpriya Mukhya Mantri’. “The Maharashtra government is taking the right steps under Fadnavis to ensure that Maharashtra soon regains the number 1 spot among all states. This government along with the centre is continuously fighting for the rights of the backward, the oppressed and the poor,” said Shah.
Shah also singled out and praised Fadnavis’ pet scheme, Jal Yukta Shivar and said, “It’s been over a year since the government has been formed but no opponent has been able to level corruption charges of a single rupee’s worth.”
Shah praised both of Munde’s daughters, “I will not say anything political here. But, Pankaja and Pritam have done a very good job in taking forward his legacy”.
Fadnavis, meanwhile, attributed his ascendance to Munde. “I could rise in the ranks of the organisation and reach where I am today only because of Munde’s backing. I have worked with him for 15-20 years and have seen his work for even longer, and he continues to be an inspiration.”