At 92, Maharashtra’s longest serving lawmaker to quit electoral politics
Maharashtra’s longest-serving assembly member, Ganpatrao Deshmukh, 92, has decided to bring his enviable record to a close by not contesting the next elections. Deshmukh, an MLA for 59 years was first elected as a lawmaker in 1962.
An 11-term Marxist Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) legislator from Solapur district’s Sangola, said he would not contest the Maharashtra elections due next year because of his age. “It is time I take the break as I cannot (even) read or write due to low vision,” said Deshmukh, who is one of the three PWP members in the Maharashtra assembly. Deshmukh is the second longest-serving lawmaker in the country after late Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, whose electoral career spanned 61 years. Karunanidhi served as a MLA 13 times without a break. Deshmukh has contested 13 elections and lost twice in 1995 and 1972.
In 1995, he lost by a margin of just 192 votes. In the last elections in 2014, he defeated Congress’ Shahaji Bapu Patil by over 25,000 votes. Deshmukh has mostly been in the opposition. He first became a minister in Sharad Pawar’s Progressive Democratic Front government in 1978. Deshmukh joined the Maharashtra government for the second time in 1999, when the PWP supported the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance.
“As I was mostly in the opposition, I had to struggle to get various government projects in my constituency, where water scarcity is a major issue,” said Deshmukh, who is credited with the Tembhu irrigation project, which has helped irrigate over 50,000 acres of land in Sangola. Deshmukh’s electoral success has been attributed to the support he enjoys among farmers in his constituency.
“Such was the firm support that Deshmukh did not need to campaign much during the elections,’’ said Kishore Kulkarni, a local political observer.
He had declared assets worth Rs 2.2 crore during the last elections.
“Since I could not bear the expense of campaigning... my supporters collected donations ,” said Deshmukh, an arts and law graduate.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- The report titled “Freedom in the World 2021 - Democracy under Siege” said India “appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader”.
- India’s sedition law has an interesting past — it was introduced by the British in 1870, decided to be dropped from the Constitution in 1948 after discussions of the Constituent Assembly.
- India will also promote tourism by celebrating 2022 as the Visit India Year through a promotion campaign highlighting India’s strengths like heritage, culture, art, wellness and yoga.
- The ADG has constituted teams of police personnel from Aligarh to assist the Hathras police.
- The incident took place on Sunday afternoon, when the girl went to a wheat field, owned by the family of the accused, to collect fodder and water.
- The provisions under the new rules relate to the code of ethics for digital news publishers, setting up of a grievance redressal system and the requirement of disclosure of information to Centre, the ministry said.
- The instrument will support the 3.6 metre Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) in Uttarakhand, an official release from the department of science said on Wednesday.
- Lt-Gen BS Raju said a quiet LoC will allow us to address the challenge of terrorism in a focused manner.
- The central agency has registered a case on the basis of an FIR registered by Chennai Economic Offences Wing in September last year.