To observe the first death anniversary of Ramesh Wanjale aka Gold Man, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLA from Khadakwasla, yesterday his fellow partyman, Ram Kadam from Ghatkopar in Mumbai reportedly spent Rs 6 lakh for installing about 300 hoardings in the city and the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad.
These hoardings had emotional messages, requesting Wanjale to ‘come back once again’ and were signed by Kadam, describing himself as a ‘dashing MLA’. These hoardings were displayed at Khadakwasla, Sinhagad Road, Sahakar Nagar, Parvati area and almost each and every area in the old city, but lacked MNS logo. Hoarding installed by Kadam bore Wanjale’s picture and a personalised message: “My dear friend Wanjale Saheb, please come back!”
“Kadam saab and Wanjale were great friends and shared a special bond. To pay tribute to his beloved friend, Kadam organised this large-scale hoarding installation programme in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad,” said Kishor Thakare, Kadam’s bodyguard. Kadam was unavailable for comment as he is out country.
Thakare said that the hoardings were displayed only in the above-mentioned areas and not in Mumbai. “There is nothing more that I know besides this,” he said. On the other hand, Wanjale’s widow Harshada and close family friends had organised various religious programmes to mark his death anniversary. A kirtan (religious discourse) by Baba Maharaj Satarkar was organised at Muktai Garden in Dhayari. “We had organised the programme as my husband was a good kirtankar,” Harshada Wanjale said. They had also installed hoardings at selected locations in Khadakwasla, the constituency Wanjale was elected from in 2009.
Anil Shidore, MNS general secretary, Maharashtra, expressed astonishment over Kadam’s act. “It sounds unusual and I really don’t know the reason behind putting these hoardings here in Pune. If the hoardings do not contain MNS’ name, then there is no issue, as this is a personal activity,” said Shidore.
“Though he (Wanjale) was ‘our man’, except for one tribute public meeting in my constituency at Bopodi, nothing has been organised. There are no other programmes on behalf of MNS in Pune,” MNS city president Prakash Dhore said.