Mumbai, Aug 09 (PTI) Maharashtra BJP Chairman, Chandrakant Patil, who comes from a modest background and rose through the ranks of the BJP, has now become Minister of State for the second time.
Patil, 63, had served as Minister of Revenue and Disability from 2014 to 2019.
The two-term MLC and first-term MP for Western Maharashtra was inducted as a minister in the Maharashtra government led by Eknath Shinde on Tuesday.
Born to a tea vendor in Mumbai, Patil struggled through his college days before securing a place in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
He also led the ABVP’s “Chalo Kashmir” campaign in 1990 to hoist a flag in Srinagar.
Patil joined the BJP in 2005 and was appointed secretary of the party’s Maharashtra unit.
He won the MLC elections in the Pune Graduate Constituency in 2008 and 2014.
After the BJP came to power in Maharashtra in 2014, Patil was appointed Cabinet Minister and he held various portfolios such as Revenue, Textiles, Public Works Department, Cooperation and Marketing.
In 2019, he decided to stand for Assembly elections and the BJP sent him from the city of Pune, instead of sitting in the BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni.
Patil is from Kolhapur district, but he has never contested an election there.
During his work with the ABVP, he came into contact with top BJP leader Amit Shah, who is currently the Union Home Minister.
In June this year, Eknath Shinde and 39 other Shiv Sena lawmakers rebelled against their party leadership, leading to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray.
The BJP, which is the largest single party in the Maharashtra Assembly, surprised later when it announced that Shinde should become the CM.
On June 20, Shinde was sworn in as chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP was sworn in as deputy CM.
Chandrakant Patil had said last month that the party had decided with a “heavy heart” that Shinde would become the state’s chief minister instead of Fadnavis.
The decision was taken to send the right message, he had told the state’s BJP executive committee.
However, BJP Head of State Ashish Shelar later said that this was not the position of the BJP or Patil, but was only expressing the feelings of ordinary working people. PTI ND GK GK