Gopinath Munde was the last of famed Marathwada troika

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 4 2014, 02:42am hrs
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde was the last of the famed "Marathwada trio", who made it big in national politics, with his death creating a leadership void in the backward region.

Late Pramod Mahajan, who was Munde's brother-in-law, and Congress heavyweight Vilasrao Deshmukh were the other members who passed away when at the peak of their political careers.

Munde and Mahajan hailed from Beed district while Deshmukh with whom Munde shared an old friendship, belonged to adjoining Latur district.

This was Munde's second stint in Lok Sabha and this time, he was assigned the important Rural Development portfolio, which was also held by Deshmukh who passed away at a Chennai hospital on August 14, 2012.

Mahajan, who shot by his brother Pravin on April 22, 2006, succumbed to injuries on May 3.

With Munde's demise, Marathwada region is now bereft of any "tall leaders" who made a mark on the national scene.

There is Shivraj Patil who was Union minister and Lok Sabha Speaker, but he was never in the same club as the three when it came to mass appeal.

Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who hails from Nanded, is a name known beyond Maharashtra, but all for wrong reasons owing to the Adarsh housing scam.