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Mahajan was one of BJP's Gen-Next leaders

By Super

Mumbai, May 3: He was a man in a tearing hurry. Even his detractors envied Pramod Mahajan, the "Generation Next" leader, for the key role he played in catapulting the BJP to power for the first time at the Centre at the head of the NDA Government.

Blamed for the BJP's defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, it was Mahajan's cherished desire to bring his party back to power at the Centre at the earliest, a dream which remained unfufilled.

Mahajan succumbed to injuries from bullets pumped in his body by younger brother Pravin after a 12-day battle for life.

Known for his organisational and fund-raising skills as well as oratory, Mahajan had remained in the limelight ever since he successfully cobbled up a BJP-Shiv Sena alliance to divest the Congress of power in Maharashtra for the first time in 1995.

The 56-year-old Mahajan courted controversy quite frequently with his perceived closeness to certain industrial houses, personalities and a tech-savvy life-style that was different from other politicians.

Acclaimed more for his managerial skills than being a mass leader, Mahajan, however, won Lok Sabha election from Mumbai North East in 1996 but lost the subsequent election in 1998. However, he had represented his party in the Rajya Sabha for four terms.

He had been Rajya Sabha member in 1986,1992, 1998 and 2004 till his tragic death.

Starting off his career as a journalist in Marathi daily Tarun Bharat, Mahajan worked his way through the Jan Sangh, Janata Party and BJP.

Always the party's trouble-shooter, Mahajan was described as the BJP's 'Lakshman' by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Mumbai at a public meeting during the party's national convention and silver jubilee celebrations held in Mumbai in December last year.

He is also credited with the party's landslide victory in Rajasthan assembly elections in 2003 and for securing an all-party consensus for Dr A P J Abdul Kalam as the President of the country.

Even though he worked hard for the Maharashtra Assembly elections in 2004, he could not replicate his Rajasthan performance, by bringing back the Sena-BJP to power.

He came in for criticism for prevailing upon the party to advance the Lok Sabha polls after the party's victories in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and the India Shining campaign in the run-up to the 2004 General Election which the BJP lost. Similarly, he was also criticised for introducing 'five star culture' in the party.


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