Devendra Fadnavis: The comeback man in Maharashtra

Photo credit: DH

An astute politician with ears to the ground and eyes on the horizon,  49-year-old Devendra Fadnavis has emerged as one of the most trusted team members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The leader with a 'Mr. Clean' image and the face of 'Common Man' - has surpassed many stalwarts in Maharashtra politics. As he was sworn in as  Maharashtra CM for a second term,  he proved his political acumen.

Even after President's rule was imposed,  he continued to occupy Varsha,  the Malabar Hill residence of Maharashtra CM. There were jokes and memes on his assertion "me punha aiyel" (I will come back again) - but now he has proved that he is a comeback man.

Modi had said "desh me Narendra, Pradesh me Devendra" and BJP President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah has described him as the "current and future" CM of Maharashtra.
At just 49,  he had 27 years of legislative experience and calls the shot for the saffron party in the state.

He is a rare brand of politicians who is both, intellectual and popular with the masses. Soft-spoken and well-educated, he is a no-nonsense administrator. Hailing from Nagpur,  the five-term MLA, he has the full backing of the RSS.

Since 1999, he has been an MLA – and had raised several issues in the House and put the Congress-NCP Democratic Front government in trouble. While in government since 2014,  he had punctured the opposition and kept ally Shiv Sena in good humour.

A Brahmin in the Maratha-dominated politics of the state, he has carved a niche for himself. His father, Gangadhar Rao Fadnavis, was an MLC from Nagpur and his mother, Sarita Fadnavis, was the Director of the Vidarbha Housing Credit Society.

Born in the year 22nd July 1970, Fadnavis holds a Graduate Degree in Law from Nagpur University, a Post Graduate Degree in Business Management and a Diploma in Methods and Techniques of Project Management from D.S.E. Berlin.

He started off as an elected member of the Municipal Corporation of Nagpur for two consecutive terms, in 1992 and 1997.  He has the distinction of being the second youngest Mayor ever in India when he served as the Mayor of Nagpur.

Fadanvis's wife Amruta works with the Axis Bank and they have a daughter, Divija. He is a foodie and loves music and films and keenly follows sports, current affairs, and international affairs.

What is more important is that he is at ease in all situations - whether speaking to grassroots workers or blue-collar executives or farmers or handling an angry morcha.

During the last five years, he encountered may problems - farmers' suicide, drought in Marathwada region, corruption charges against a dozen ministers of his government, but he tackled all those. Besides,  he also managed to politically sideline some of the senior leaders.

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