In life and politics, they were brothers in arms. Death, too, came suddenly to the BJP leaders Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan.
Both leaders died on the 3rd day of a month. Unlike Munde who died almost instantly, Mahajan had lingered for almost two weeks after being shot by his younger brother Pravin in 2006. Neither was destined to die a natural death.
Their lives were cut short at a juncture when both were trying to carve out their space in the party’s turf war. Pramod Mahajan was among the Gen Next leaders locked in a battle for supremacy in the BJP’s central leadership. Munde was hoping to emerge as the party’s chief ministerial candidate for Maharashtra.
The duo were linked by strong ties of blood. Munde was married to Mahajan’s younger sister Pradnya. They were also self-made men, born without political mentors from the same deprived region of Marathwada. Both their daughters – MLA Pankaja Munde-Palwe and MP Poonam Mahajan – have inherited their political mantle.
The cycle of tragedy includes the death of Pravin Mahajan, who succumbed to a brain haemorrhage on March 3, 2010 while serving a life sentence for murdering his brother. In Munde’s death, the only hope for reconciliation between the estranged families of Pramod and Pravin Mahajan is perhaps over.