"Similarly, PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Munde was the first in the BJP to support his demand for an OBC census and always introduced him (Bhujbal) as his OBC leader though they belonged to rival parties."
Mumbai, June 6 - The Maharashtra legislative assembly Friday paid rich tributes to its former member Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident in New Delhi Tuesday.

Moving a 'Motion of Gratitude', which was adopted by the House, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan described Munde as a mass leader full of life, enthusiasm whose life was cut short at its peak.

Munde never took elections lightly...He was always busy planning and strategising his next political moves. He was also very enthusiastic about the forthcoming state assembly elections... Chavan said.

Munde, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, served as the state's deputy chief minister between 1995-1999.

The 'Motion of Gratitude' was passed since a condolence motion had already been adopted on the day of Munde's death.

Chavan recalled that Munde sounded very enthusiastic during their last phone conversation and how he was keen to use his position as union minister for rural development for the development of Maharashtra.

BJP's Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Eknath Khadse, emotionally recalled Munde's meeting with state party leaders just two days before his death to discuss the impending assembly election.

At that time when Munde was delegating responsibilities, Khadse mentioned that they would be meeting again after the monsoon session of the state legislature. Who has that much time? Munde shot back.

Khadse described Munde as an affectionate man who never felt threatened by the rise of his juniors in politics and was always concerned about the welfare of the farming community.

Industry Minister Narayan Rane, who was the Shiv Sena chief minister in 1999 when Munde served as deputy chief minister, said he had tremendous command and knowledge about rural issues.

Similarly, PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Munde was the first in the BJP to support his demand for an OBC census and always introduced him (Bhujbal) as his OBC leader though they belonged to rival parties.

Several other leading lights including Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai and state Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam spoke on the occasion.


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