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Vajpayee's 'Lakshman' catapulted BJP to power

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, May 3 (UNI) If L K Advani was 'Ram' for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pramod Mahajan was 'Lakshman'.

However, no 'sanjivni buti' (life-saving drug) could save 'the blue-eyed boy' of both Vajpayee and Advani as the 56-year- old master strategist of the BJP succumbed to the bullet injuries, inflicted on him by his younger brother, after battling for life for 12 days.

It was just in December on the margins of the BJP National Convention that Vajpayee, addressing a rally at the Shivaji Park, described Mahajan as 'Lakshman', raising many an eyebrow in the party.

The remark came as a bolt from the blue for many top BJP leaders, especially those belonging to 'Gen Next', but Mahajan's glory was short-lived.

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.

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.

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 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 ... picking up from para 12, line one of DR48, PEOPLE-MAHAJAN-OBIT.

UNI MR RP KP1938

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