11-Time Maharashtra MLA Ganpatrao Deshmukh No More
Solapur, (Maharashtra): India’s second-longest-serving legislator and Peasants & Workers Party (PWP) senior leader Ganpatrao Deshmukh passed away following a brief illness at a private hospital here late on Friday, family sources said.
He was 95 and his last rites will be performed in Sangole, here on Saturday afternoon.
Deshmukh, an epitome of humility and simplicity, had been elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from the Sangole seat for a staggering 11 times since 1962.
He also lost elections only twice, first in 1972 and then in 1995 – the second time he was vanquished by his own grandson but with a wafer-thin margin of around 190 votes.
In 2012, the Maharashtra Legislature congratulated him warmly for completing a golden jubilee as a MLA.
Deshmukh, served as a minister briefly in 1978 when Sharad Pawar was the chief minister and later in 1999 in the government of the late CM Vilasrao Deshmukh.
In 2019, Deshmukh stunned political circles by deciding to retire from active politics mainly on grounds of his advanced age.
Till date, he remains the second longest-serving legislator in India – after the record of the late Tamil Nadu CM and DMK supremo, M. Karunanidhi.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis condoled the demise of Deshmukh.
Top leaders of PWP, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party, Congress, the Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and others have expressed grief over the passing of the elder statesman.