Earlier city MPs raised issues of national importance, too
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Even as the Parliament celebrates its 60th birthday, Pune city has reason to raise a toast as it sent MPs who pitched in their best when it came to participating in debates or raising "larger public issues of national importance" on the floor of the House. "Pune's MPs never restricted themselves to issues relating to Pune city. In Parliament, they raised their voice on significant national issues after thoroughly studying them," says political commentator Suhas Palshikar.
Pune city's tryst with Parliament began in 1952 when Kakasaheb Gadgil was elected as MP in the first-ever elections in post-Independent India. Kakasaheb, a Congressman, was already a minister in the Nehru Cabinet from 1947-52. He completed his full tenure as MP. He was followed by the likes of Nanasaheb Gore (1957), Shankarrao More (1962), S M Joshi (1967) and Mohan Dharia (1971 and 1977). Joshi, a writer and journalist, and Gore had led the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. Both were acclaimed as forebearers of the socialist movement in Maharashtra. Joshi was elected on an Samyukta Socialist Party ticket while Gore was from Praja Socialist Party.
Barrister Vithalrao Gadgil, son of Kakasaheb Gadgil, a staunch Congressman, was elected in 1980, 1984 and 1989. After him, Anna Joshi (1991) and Pradeep Rawat (1999) of BJP, Congressman Vithal Tupe (1998) and Suresh Kalmadi (1996, 2004 and 2009), also from Congress, have been elected from the Pune Lok Sabha constituency. While Vithalrao Gadgil and Kalmadi were elected thrice, Dharia made it twice.
Dharia, Vithalrao and Kalmadi occupied ministerial chair. Only Dharia became the Cabinet minister while the other two held minister of state (independent) charge. "Kakasaheb was a minister in the Nehru Cabinet before the first elections were held in 1952. After the elections, he remained an MP," said his grandson Anant Gadgil. "My grandfather went on to became the Punjab Governor. My father also became a minister of state. He was later a Congress spokesman for 10 years," he said.
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