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Sudhakarrao Naik was an Indian politician who served as Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1991 until 1993. Born at the remote Gavli village in the Vidarbha region, he was nephew of Mr Vasantrao Naik who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra for 11 years. He started his political career from his rural base as Sarpanch or village head.

He started his larger political career from Pusad. His role as Education Minister is of Maharashtra is still held with high importance. Mr. Sharad Pawar gave him the post of Chief Minister when he was became a Minister at the Center.

Mr Naik's tenure as Chief Minister was noted for his attempt to destroy the clout of the Mumbai Underworld and bring them under the aegis of the law. He arrested the well-known gangsters Pappu Kalani, MLA from Ulhasnagar, and Bhai Thakur (brother of gangster-MLA Hitendra Thakur, and he started to destroy their money and muscle power.

However, politically, his differences with Sharad Pawar grew, and ultimately he had to resign. At one point, Sudhakarrao made a statement that Sharad Pawar had asked him to "go easy on Pappu Kalani".

He is also remembered for his work in water conservation.

He served as governor of Himachal Pradesh from 1994 to 1995.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Sudhakarrao Naik In News:
Constituency Profile/Washim

Sudhakar Naik is out to avenge his 1996 defeat
The denial of a nomination to sitting Shiv Sena MP Pundalik Gawali is working to the advantage of Congress candidate and former Maharashtra chief minister Sudhakarrao Naik in Washim. Gawali had inflicted a shock defeat on Naik in 1996 in the constituency that had never before returned a non-Congress candidate. However, the Sena leadership replaced Gawali with Dhaneshwar Shewale this time. Though there are eight candidates in the field, the contest is essentially between Naik and Shewale.

There is an undercurrent of resentment among Gawali's supporters over the denial of the ticket, and the Congress is exploiting this. The Sena leadership has defended its decision, saying Shewale is a better candidate.

Not taking any chances, the party has sent its deputy leader Vilas Awachat to coordinate the election campaign and ensure the Shewale's victory.

For Naik, it is a do-or-die battle. If he bites the dust this time, it would, political observers say, send him into political oblivion. Taking this into account, Naik is leaving no stone unturned and is vigorously campaigning in the constituency along with members of his clan. He has even mended fences with his bete noire, former chief minister Sharad Pawar.

In 1996, Naik had snubbed Pawar by not inviting him to address any meeting in the constituency, saying he needed no help from any leader. This time, he not only invited Pawar for campaigning but openly acknowledged his leadership.

Till 1996, Washim was considered the pocket borough of the Naik family. It is dominated by Naik's Banjara community. Sudhakar Naik's uncle, Vasantrao Naik, who had a record 11-year tenure as chief minister of the state, won the Lok Sabha poll by a margin of over 100,000 votes in 1977, surviving the Janata Party wave. Considered a safe seat, the Congress fielded Ghulam Nabi Azad, a Kashmiri, as its candidate in 1980 and 1984, winning both times.

In 1996, the candidature of former MLA and Banjara leader Makhram Pawar contributed to Naik's defeat, since he managed to take away 90,000 votes. Naik ended up losing to Gawali by 17,000 votes. The situation has changed this time, with Naik and Makhram Pawar coming to terms. In fact, Naik reversed his decision not to contest this time on health grounds, after his patch-up with his community leader.

Washim has four assembly segments: Karanja, Mangrulpir, Medshi and Washim in Akola district, besides two segments, Pusad and Umarkhed, in Yavatmal district. Naik himself is from Pusad. There has been considerable speculation in political circles over Naik's likely entry into the Shiv Sena or floating a new party after being sidelined by the Congress leadership last year. Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had called on Naik at his Bombay home and reportedly offered him the post of chairman of the state government's water conservation scheme or ideal village scheme. The Thackeray-Naik friendship apparently ended with the Sena leader describing Naik as a sick person unfit to run for the Lok Sabha, and calling for his defeat at his election rally at Pusad ten days ago.

Sudhakarrao Naik Died
Mumbai, May 10: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sudhakarrao Naik died here this evening at Cumbala Hill Hospital in south Mumbai following a heart failure.

He was 67. He is survived by his wife Sumantai, son Jai and daughters Archana Chavan and Aradhana Naik.

The hospital Director, Dr K.R. Shetty, said the end came at 7.40 p.m. due to “shortness of breath and heart failure”. Mr Naik, a former Governor of Himachal Pradesh, was admitted to the hospital last week after he complained of breathlessness.
 
 
 

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