Former BJP national president Nitin Gadkari is back in reckoning after he defeated veteran Congress leader Vilas Muttemwar in Nagpur, the seat of RSS headquarters, in his debut Lok Sabha election.
Gadkari surprised the seven-term MP, who has won four terms from Nagpur in his political career, perfectly in tune with the saffron wave that has swept Vidarbha region and other parts of the country as well.
Gadkari trounced Muttemwar by a margin of 2,86,828 votes, polling a total of 5,87,767 votes as against 3,00,939 votes secured by the Congress leader.
In 1985, Gadkari, an MLC, had contested unsuccessfully as MLA.
A student leader, Gadkari rose to become the state BJP president and then steered the party at national level before stepping down over allegations of corruption in business dealings.
As former PWD minister in erstwhile NDA government (1995-55) in Maharashtra, he is credited with building a network of flyovers across the state and the Mumbai-Pune express highway.