Pacifying Marathas, Expanding In West Maharashtra: Why BJP Chose First-Time MP Murlidhar Mohol For Union Cabinet

By Tejas Joshi | Published: June 10, 2024 12:59 PM2024-06-10T12:59:37+5:302024-06-10T13:01:28+5:30

On Sunday, BJP's first-time MP from Pune, Murlidhar Mohol, was sworn in as a Minister of State in Prime ...

Pacifying Marathas, Expanding In West Maharashtra: Why BJP Chose First-Time MP Murlidhar Mohol For Union Cabinet | Pacifying Marathas, Expanding In West Maharashtra: Why BJP Chose First-Time MP Murlidhar Mohol For Union Cabinet

Pacifying Marathas, Expanding In West Maharashtra: Why BJP Chose First-Time MP Murlidhar Mohol For Union Cabinet

On Sunday, BJP's first-time MP from Pune, Murlidhar Mohol, was sworn in as a Minister of State in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 3.0 government. Mohol, the first Lok Sabha member from Pune since 1996 to achieve such a distinction, also holds the unique honor of being elevated directly from the corporator's level to the Union council of ministers, bypassing any prior experience in the state legislature.

A Rare Political Rise

It's uncommon for a first-time MP to be included in the Union Cabinet, yet Mohol has defied expectations. His ascent raises the question: why did the BJP choose Mohol?

The Maratha Connection

One significant reason is Mohol's roots in the influential Maratha community. Amid the Maratha quota agitation led by Manoj Jarange Patil, the community expressed dissatisfaction with the Mahayuti government over unmet quota promises. This discontent led many Marathas to support rival candidates, denting the alliance's prospects in Maharashtra. Including a prominent Maratha face like Mohol in the cabinet could be a strategic move to pacify the community ahead of the upcoming assembly polls.

Expanding in Western Maharashtra

Another reason for Mohol's induction is BJP's ambition to expand in western Maharashtra, a region where the party faces stiff competition from Sharad Pawar's NCP. Out of the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the region, the BJP won only two, while the rest went to the Maha Vikas Aghadi. To make significant inroads, the BJP needs a strong Maratha representative. While Satara MP Udayanraje Bhonsale was a potential candidate, his unpredictable statements and history with the NCP likely hindered his chances.

A Strong RSS Background

Mohol, an RSS man, maintains strong ties with the state leadership, particularly with Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. His ability to retain BJP's stronghold in Pune, despite statewide challenges, underscores his political acumen. Pune, a cash-rich metro second only to Mumbai, holds strategic importance not just for its monetary benefits but also for its cultural heritage.

The BJP leadership likely considered these factors—Mohol's Maratha background, his potential to strengthen BJP's foothold in western Maharashtra, and his solid RSS connections—before selecting him for the Union Cabinet.

Murlidhar Mohol's journey from being a corporator to a Union Minister exemplifies his dedication and strategic importance within the BJP, making him a key player in the party's future plans.

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