Chhagan Bhujbal- The Fighter Who Came Back Stronger

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Currently serving as the Cabinet Minister of Food and Civil Supply, Consumer Affairs in the Government of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujal has seen several ups and downs in his political career. The colossal blow to his career came when he was arrested in March 2016 by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the money laundering case and Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi.

At the age of 71, he was granted bail by the Bombay high court in May 2018. When he was arrested his dissenters said that Bhujbal’s political career is finished. He faced a lot of problems when he was in jail. He was admitted to the hospital after complaining of health issues. Then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government lead by Devendra Fadnavis treated him miserably.

Harsh personal criticisms were made of him and his family. However, one person that constantly extended his support was the Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar. He had also raised concerns about Bhujbal’s poor health conditions in jail he had said BJP’s government will be responsible if anything wrong had happened to him in prison.

Devendra Fadnavis had absolute support of the central government since the BJP was power in the center. BJP is alleged by the opposition of using central agencies like ED, Election Commission of India, CBI misusing to suppress the voice of the opposition parties and its leaders. Even if in the current scenario Maha Vikas Aghadi Government is in the power in state central government is constantly accused of using these agencies in the states ruled by non-BJP parties.

However, In November 2019 the change in power in the state of Maharashtra saw a rise of Chhagan Bhujbal again. He won the Vidhan Sabha election from Yeola constituency and he was one of the first six leaders who was elected as the cabinet minister in the MVA government lead by Uddhav Thackeray on November 28, 2019, at Shivaji Park, Dadar.

Thus, he just did not make his come back but he came back even stronger.  That day was in itself an answer for his dissenters who had said in 2016 that Bhujbal’s political life is finished. Now, even the silver lining is getting added as he got acquitted by the special court in Maharashtra Sadan Case along with his son Pankaj Bhujbal and nephew Sameer Bhujbal on September 9. This came as a huge relief for Bhujbal and his family. His legal team said, that there was no evidence against them in the case.

Chhagan Bhujbal started his political career with Shivsena and became the mayor of Mumbai and later the MLA. In 1991, he left Shivsena and joined Indian National Congress when he was in the congress he became the revenue minister of Maharashtra. In 1999 when Sharad Pawar split the congress party and formed Nationalist Congress Party Chhagan Bhujbal was one of the few leaders who left Congress and since then he is in NCP.

Later, he became the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, home minister, PWD minister of Maharashtra. Chhagan Bhujbal is a stalwart politician who has followers across the state. He is considered an OBC strongman and face of the OBC community in the state. He is known for his fiery speeches and aggression. With the acquittal in the Maharashtra Sadan case Bhujbal not just got a clean reputation but also new confidence and power in politics.