Jitendra Awhad apologises after saying Lord Shree Ram was Nonvegetarian

But this is not the first time he created controversies! Here is an outlook towards his controversial past:

In the realm of Indian politics, where rhetoric and controversy often collide, the recent statement by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jitendra Awhad regarding Lord Ram has added another chapter to his already controversial political journey. Known for his outspoken nature and allegiance to Sharad Pawar, Awhad’s four-decade-long career has been marked by confrontations both within his own party and with adversaries in the Opposition.

Jitendra Awhad Expresses Apology Over Controversial Remark

Jitendra Awhad, a three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Mumbra, has long been associated with Sharad Pawar’s faction within the NCP. His latest remarks about Lord Ram being a king of the Bahujans and a non-vegetarian have stirred a new controversy, particularly drawing criticism from right-wing forces and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, this is not the first time Awhad has found himself at the center of a political storm.

The 60-year-old OBC (Other Backward Class) leader has been a vocal critic of “Manuvadi” forces, and his recent comments on Lord Ram are in line with his broader beliefs. Awhad’s journey in politics began as a student activist, gaining prominence during his agitation against a hike in college tuition fees in 1982. Subsequently, he transitioned into mainstream politics, initially aligning with the Congress.

Jitendra Awhad

During his early political years, Jitendra Awhad held positions in the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), both at the state and national levels. His rise within the Congress ranks continued, leading to his appointment as the Maharashtra Youth Congress President in 1996. However, Awhad’s political trajectory took a significant turn when Sharad Pawar parted ways with the Congress to form the NCP.

Remaining steadfast in his loyalty, Jitendra Awhad joined the NCP and earned nominations to the Legislative Council in 2002 and 2008. His electoral breakthrough came in 2009 when he won the Mumbra-Kalwa constituency, known for its Muslim majority, by a margin of 15,689 votes against a Shiv Sena candidate. Awhad went on to secure victories in the 2014 and 2019 Assembly elections from the same constituency.

His political prowess was acknowledged in 2014 when he became the Minister for Medical Education & Horticulture in the NCP-Congress government. Awhad retained his ministerial position in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, which lasted until 2022, serving as the Housing Minister. Despite facing criticism for his controversial remarks and confrontations with right-wing groups, Awhad’s political career continued to thrive.

In 2018, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad revealed that suspected right-wing activists had conducted reconnaissance on Awhad, among others, due to his outspoken statements against the Hindu religion. The scrutiny from Hindutva groups did not deter him, and Awhad remained vocal on issues he deemed important.

Awhad’s confrontational style was evident in a 2020 incident where he was accused, along with several others, of assaulting a civil engineer who had posted a morphed photograph of him. Despite his arrest, Awhad was released on bail the same day, underscoring his ability to weather legal challenges.

While Awhad’s recent remarks about Lord Ram have ignited fresh controversies, it is not the first time he has clashed with the BJP. Accusations of “pandering to minority issues” to secure Muslim votes in Mumbra have been leveled against him by the BJP. Despite the political rivalry, Awhad has managed to maintain his standing within the NCP, continuing to enjoy the trust of Sharad Pawar.

Even during internal strife within the NCP, particularly after its split, Awhad has weathered accusations. Ajit Pawar, leading the rival faction, blamed Awhad for several leaders leaving the party in Thane. However, Sharad Pawar’s support for Awhad remained unwavering, with attempts to secure him the post of Leader of the Opposition after the split.

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