Maharashtra's longest-serving MLA to hang up his boots

Maharashtra's longest-serving MLA to hang up his boots

Ganpatrao Deshmukh.

Maharashtra's longest-serving MLA, Ganpatrao Deshmukh, has decided to retire from electoral politics.

The 92-year-old legislator, however, said that he would continue to work for the people and raise issues of public importance.

Deshmukh, who is from Peasents' & Workers' Party (PWP), is an 11-time MLA from Sangole in Solapur district of Western Maharashtra.

He had been influenced with the Leftist thoughts since his student days.

"Yes, I have decided not to contest the elections. However, I would continue to work for people," Deshmukh told DH over phone from Solapur.

Born on August 10, 1927, he is a respected politician known for his honesty, impartiality and his study and knowledge of a wide range of subjects.

He is a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for 56 years.

Deshmukh was first elected in 1962 and then won every election but for 1972 and 1995.

In 2012, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and the Maharashtra government congratulated him for completing 50 years in electoral politics.

He had served as a minister twice— first in 1978 in the Progressive Democratic Front government headed by Sharad Pawar, that Pawar had formed after splitting from the Congress and in 1999 in the Congress-NCP Democratic Front government headed by the late Vilasrao Deshmukh.

In 2014, when he won the Vidhan Sabha polls, he was 88.

Last month, he undertook an agitation in Sangole demanding release of water from Tisangi lake.

Throughout his political career, he worked for farmers, poor and downtrodden and the women.

He had worked extensively in drought-affected areas.

He has a clean image and despite the age, he is available for the people.