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10 things you need to know about Gopinath Munde

Tuesday, 3 June 2014 - 1:00pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

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Union Minister for Rural Development Gopinath Munde died in a car accident in Delhi on Tuesday morning. He was one of the most prominent BJP leaders and the face of the OBC in Maharashtra.

Here are ten things to know about the leader.

* Born into a middle class farmer's family in 1949 in Parali, in Maharashtra's Beed district, Gopinath Pandurang Munde had seen difficult times since a young age after his father passed away. His mother Limbabai struggled against heavy odds to make ends meet.

* ​Munde graduated from a college in Ambejogai with a degree in Commerce. It was here that he met Pramod Mahajan, under whose influence he joined politics. He then attended Indian Law School (ILS) in Pune.

* ​Munde joined the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and participated in the agitation against the state of Emergency imposed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the late 1970s.

* He was also associated with the Bhartiya Jana Sangh and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). By the time he became influential across various parts of Maharashtra, the Janata Party had split, and Munde was made president of the Maharashtra unit of the BJP's youth wing, the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha. Known for his flair for complex political strategy, Munde was one of the few leaders who was responsible for transforming Maharashtra's politics from being an upper caste one to one with a base among other castes as well.

* ​Munde served as the MLA in the Maharashtra legislature for five terms and at the age of 46, he became the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra under the leadership of Manohar Joshi.

* ​Munde's Lok Sabha journey began when he represented Beed constituency. He won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the same place and was made Union Minister of Rural Development, Water and Sanitation in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet. He served as the Member of Parliament for two terms.

* Munde was married to Pramod Mahajan's sister, Pradnya Mahajan, who he met in his college days where Pramod was his senior.

* Munde is succeeded by three daughters. His eldest daughter Pankaja is an MLA and was responsible for handling his political campaign in Beed for the 2014 elections. She is most likely to take forward Munde's political legacy.

* ​His second daughter Pritam is a doctor and the youngest, Yashashri is studying law from Mumbai. All the daughters are said to be 'Daddy's Daughters' as they yearned for his affection all the time.

* ​According to plans, Munde was supposed to be part of one of the most aggressive campaigns of BJP in this year's Mahrashtra Legislative elections. 

* Gopinath Pandurang Munde breathed his last at the AIIMS trauma centre on June 3, 2014, after suffering from a cardiac arrest which was triggered by a collision of his car with another car at Aurobindo Chowk in South Delhi. He was on his way to Indira Gandhi International airport to take a flight to Mumbai. 

BJP leaders and other politicians have offered their condolences to the family.

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