NEW DELHI: A former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde, the OBC face of BJP in the state, makes his entry in the Union cabinet for the first time.
Munde, who was the Deputy Leader of Opposition in 15 Lok Sabha, won this time despite NCP chief Sharad Pawar making the Beed seat a prestige issue.
With Munde being a known detractor of Pawar in state politics, Pawar launched his poll campaign from Beed in favour of NCP nominee Suresh Dhus whose challenged collapsed despite Munde's nephew Dhananjay being his campaign manager.
A five time MLA, Munde's heart has always been in the state politics and harbours the ambition of becoming first BJP Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
A brother-in-law of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, Munde hails from a poor family in the backward Marathwada region and was brought into politics by the late BJP leader Vasantrao Bhagwat, who also groomed several other youngsters including Pramod Mahajan.
A general secretary of the party at the national level, he was Chairman of the Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers in last Lok Sabha.
He has wife and three daughters and one of them- Pankaja Palave- represents the Parli assembly seat.