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    Published On : Sun, Sep 28th, 2014

    Amol Deshmukh – Very comfortable being an NCP candidate


    Ramtek was abuzz for the last 2 days – first with the news that it was not Dr. Amol Deshmukh but Subodh Mohite who was going to be the Congress Vidhansabha candidate; then there was speculation that Dr. Deshmukh was going to contest as an independent, but finally the NCP succeeded in wooing him to be their candidate.

    “It saddened me a lot, not getting the Congress ticket” recalled a visibly tired looking Amol Deshmukh. He and his family, had just come back from Ramtek after filing his nomination papers. There was also a tinge of nostalgia and regret as he pointed to a photo prominently displayed on his wall beside his table. It has his father Mr. Ranjeet Deshmukh, Mrs. Indira Gandhi and a very youthfull looking Rajiv Gandhi in a boat together in Khindsi, Ramtek. ” I would have liked to have that history repeating itself, but that was not be…” Meaning it was his dream to be in the same boat as Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul. “I felt no hesitation in going with the NCP since the point of their dispute about Madam Sonia was resolved and they had had a long alliance together, Congress and NCP. Moreover, most of the local NCP leaders have been with my father and trained under his tutelage at some time or another. So I am very comfortable being their candidate instead of contesting as an indpendent.”

    Recalling his journey upto this point, Dr. Deshmukh said, “Ramtek and Parseoni have been like a second home to me since my HERD foundation began working with the local population there on many issues, like Health, Education, Sports, Vocational training etc. The village level tournaments of Volleyball, Kabbadi and athletics held by HERD has seen the participation of thousands of youth. They have also been very enthusiastic about the training and vocational training being offered. 

    “We cannot make rash promises of immediate jobs for them locally, but we can at least make them hire-worthy elsewhere. We can also train them to start small business.The poor farmers, the tribals, the women and children all have many hopes from us; becoming their representative in the State Assembly will help me help them better. Thus I was seriously contemplating fighting independently when many NCP members approached me and finally after meeting Mr. Prafull Patel, I took the plunge.”
    He also clarified that if Mr. Sadanand Nimkar, a senior and popular local leader had wanted to contest as NCP candidate, he would have never taken the ticket. He wanted no factional wars in the party over his candidature.

    Going forward on the issues Ramtek faces he said despite having tremendous potential the area is still under developed and poverty ridden. There is plenty of water but irrigation canals and small dams haven’t been repaired and kept operational so utility is not optimum and small farmers aren’t benefiting. He would like to improve on lift irrigation.

    “There have been no repairs or building of new infrastructure. Good, English medium colleges are lacking in interior areas so youth have to go to Ramtek to attend college, which is not possible for everyone.We will try to get such a college in Parseoni”.

    “Ramtek has the potential to develop as a popular tourism site because of the historical Ram temple and the scenic Khindsi lake. If good starred hotels and a decent infra structure is provided lot of international tourists who already come to Pench for Tiger tourism will come here too. If Shirdi and Shegaon have done it, why can’t we?” States Dr. Deshmukh.

    “Tribal and forrest development go hand in hand. That will also be my team’s focus since there are a lot of tribals in this area…” as Dr. Amol Deshmukh outlines his plans for Ramtek the tiredness seems to seep away and he looks all fired up and enthusiastic about implementing his dreams. Also very optimistic. His extensive international exposure in Developmental activities and Management will come to the fore in managing the short and brutal 15 days’ campaign and hopefully lead to victory.
    …..Sunita Mudaliar

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