Former minister and and MLA Ganapatrao Deshmukh passes away at 94

As per reports, his was admitted at a hospital in Solapur where his health deteriorated on Friday, July 30, 2021. Deshmukh served as a member of the Peasants and Workers party (PWP)

Former minister and and MLA Ganapatrao Deshmukh passes away at 94

Maharashtra's longest serving MLA and former minister, Ganapatrao Deshmukh, passed away on Friday, July 30, 2021, at the age of 94. As per reports, he breathed his last at Solapur's Ashwini Hospital where he was being treated for an ailment. His health condition was said to be critical for the last few days.

Officials informed that he succumbed to his injuries during treatment due to which his condition had deteriorated. His entire family was said to be with him.

Maharashtra State Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari shared his condolences and 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 Ganpatrao Deshmukh. A model people’s representative, Shri Deshmukh 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, Shri Deshmukh was a fearless leader, having friends across the political spectrum. In his demise the state has lost an institution in the state legislature.”

Deshmukh served as a senior leader of Sangola taluka where he was the MLA for 11 times, for which he created a record. He was a member of the Peasants and Workers party (PWP) and served as an MLA  for a total of 55 years. In his political tenure, Deshmukh lost the electoral politics in 1972 and 1995. He was known for his work for agriculture, co-operation, water, women's empowerment, etc. and officials mentioned that he was always loyal to the ideologies of his Party. Rajesh Korde mentioned that his demise will definitely affect the peasant movement in the state and his contribution will always be remembered. 

In the span of his political career, he has witnessed work of many Chief Ministers in the state, right from the first CM of Maharashtra, Yashwantrao Chavan. His loyalty as 'One person, one party and one constituency' is rare example in Maharashtra politics.

Deshmukh was practicing law before entering politics and while giving justice to the people, he became close to working with the Peasant Workers Party, post which he soon became an active member of PECAP from 1950. In 1962, he contested from Sangola Assembly constituency where his political career began. He soon began his  work to get water for the people from the drought-stricken areas of Sangola and made his agenda while contesting the first elections. 

Besides this, he was also imprisoned during the Emergency.

Deshmukh was defeated in the 1972 assembly elections and re-elected again till 1995. During this time, in 1977, he served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and joined the Council of Ministers in 1978. He then became a minister again in 1999 when his party fought hard to solve the water problem for the drought-hit areas. 

It is due to their efforts that the water of Tembhu and Mahisal schemes reached the drought stricken Sangola.

Post the 1995 defeat,  Deshmukh was re-elected in 1999 and until 2014, he represented in the Legislative Assembly for a total of 11 times. His supporters urged him to stand for the position again in 2019, however, he had made up his mind and announced that he was not willing to contest for the elections again.

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