Pune: Suresh Khopade, the man who introduced Mohalla Committee to India after the infamous 1984 Bhivandi riots and ensured the communally sensitive town remained quiet even after Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, will take on Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter and outgoing MP in Baramati Supriya Sule. Khopade will be contesting on Aam Aadmi Party ticket.
“The people of Baramati are angry with the Pawars. They are not comfortable with the style of functioning of deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. I will provide the alternative they are looking for,” said Khopade, who retired as Special Inspector General of Police a few years ago.
“Most people know about the mohalla committee concept introduced by me. Not many know how humble my background has been. My parents were illiterate and held a small piece of ancestral land in Morgaon near Baramati. I studied in a small dilapidated school where just one teacher taught all standards simultaneously. I will talk about this vis-a-vis Supriya’s silver-spoon-in-mouth life. She got everything on a platter, including the Loksabha seat,”said Khopade who graduated from Pune Agricultural College in 1974.
Khopade said he decided to contest only after AAP leaders and activists Subhash Ware (AAP candidate from Pune), Maruti Bhapkar persuaded him. “I was reluctant initially, but then Mayank Gandhi called me. I also felt that I could change the system only after entering it,”said 63-year old Khopade.