Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil, who comes from a humble background and rose through the BJP ranks, has now become the state minister for the second time.
Patil (63), had served as the revenue and PWD minister during 2014-19.
The two-term MLC and first-term MLA from western Maharashtra was on Tuesday inducted as a minister in the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government.
Patil was Born to a tea seller in Mumbai, Patil struggled till his college days before he found a place in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
He also led the ABVP’s ‘Chalo Kashmir’ campaign in 1990 to hoist a flag in Srinagar.
Patil joined the BJP in 2005 and was made secretary of the party’s Maharashtra unit.
He won the MLC elections from the Pune graduate constituency in 2008 and 2014.
After the BJP came to power in Maharashtra in 2014, Patil was made the cabinet minister and he held various portfolios like revenue, textile, public works department, and cooperation and marketing.
In 2019, he decided to contest the Assembly election and the BJP fielded him from Pune city, instead of sitting BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni.
Patil hails from Kolhapur district, but he never contested an election there.
During his work with the ABVP, he got in touch with senior BJP leader Amit Shah, who is currently the Union home minister.
In June this year, Eknath Shinde and 39 other Shiv Sena legislators rebelled against their party leadership, leading to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
The BJP, which is the largest single party in the Maharashtra Assembly, sprang a surprise later when it announced that Shinde should become the CM.
On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM.
Chandrakant Patil had last month said the party decided with a ”heavy heart” that Shinde should become the state’s chief minister instead of Fadnavis.
The decision was taken to send the right message, he had said at the state BJP’s executive committee. However, state BJP leader Ashish Shelar later said it was not the BJP’s or Patil’s own stand, but he was only articulating the feelings of ordinary workers.