Murlidhar Mohol becomes minister: Only second Lok Sabha MP from Pune in 38 years to receive the honour

Murlidhar Mohol becomes minister: Only second Lok Sabha MP from Pune in 38 years to receive the honour

Murlidhar Mohol becomes minister: Only second Lok Sabha MP from Pune in 38 years to receive the honour

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In a significant political development, Murlidhar Mohol, newly elected from the Pune Lok Sabha seat, took oath on Sunday as the Minister of State in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NDA government. Mohol is only the second Lok Sabha MP from Pune to be appointed as a minister in the central government in over 38 years.

The 49-year-old BJP leader, who recently defeated Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar in the Lok Sabha elections, is the sixth individual from Pune to ascend to the Union Ministry. He follows in the footsteps of Congress’ Vithalrao Gadgil, who served as the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister from 1984 to 1986.

Mohol’s appointment marks a notable moment in Pune’s political history. Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi and Prakash Javadekar, both Rajya Sabha members, previously held ministerial positions. However, Mohol is only the second Lok Sabha MP from Pune city to become a minister since Vithalrao Gadgil.

“Gadgil was elected Lok Sabha MP in 1984 and joined the Rajiv Gandhi government, which completed its term till 1989. In 1995, Kalmadi served as Minister of State for Railways for six months during the Narsimha Rao government,” explained Pune Congress spokesperson Ramesh Iyer.

Anant Gadgil, Vithalrao Gadgil’s son, emphasized the historical significance: “This means a Lok Sabha MP from Pune city is becoming a Union Minister (of States) after 38 years.”

Mohol’s Political Journey

Mohol, a former mayor of Pune and a former standing committee chairperson of the Pune Municipal Corporation, has had a varied political career. He has also served as a school board member.

His appointment has surprised many political observers in Pune, given his status as a first-time MP with no prior ministerial experience. “Gadgil, Kalmadi, and Javadekar had long-standing political careers before becoming Union ministers. Mohol has no such credentials. Probably, the BJP has done this with an eye on the Maharashtra Assembly elections,” commented Iyer.

BJP sources indicate that the choice of Mohol, a Maratha face, is strategic ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections. “The party has picked Mohol because he is a Maratha face who would be much required during the Assembly elections. Besides, he is young and enterprising. He has kept the party’s momentum going in the past five years and played a key role in pushing the city’s development,” said BJP spokesperson Sandeep Khardekar.

Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan noted the political implications: “That the BJP has picked an MP from Pune for ministerial berth shows the importance they attach to Pune and Western Maharashtra.”

Mohol himself expressed surprise at his appointment. “I had come to Delhi for the swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues. I thought I would return home after the swearing-in ceremony. I had also booked flight tickets for Pune. But today I suddenly got calls from Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who told me to come to the PM’s house. I had never in my dream thought that I would come this far in my political journey,” he told reporters in Delhi.

“Now that I am being made a minister, I will take up whatever responsibility the PM gives me and perform it to the best of my ability,” said Mohol.