Behind BJP candidate Medha Kulkarni’s success has been the hardwork and persistence of her husband Vishram Kulkarni that has paid off. A diligent RSS worker, Vishram has been the campaign chief for BJP leaders Urmila Apte and Shyam Satpute before he did the job for his wife who romped home with a thumping win from Kothrud. For sitting MLA Madhuri Misal too, it has been the unconditional support of BJP workers and her family that helped her retain the Parvati seat.
Wife of late Satish Misal and granddaughter of freedom fighter Keshav Deshpande, Madhuri was initially a homemaker before she joined active politics. “I live in a joint family. My husband had been a corporator for four terms and politics was discussed every day.
It was not difficult to pick up the ropes,” says Madhuri, who wants to create “a safe and women-friendly environment” in the city.
It was in 2007 that Shreepati Shastri of RSS insisted that Madhuri Misal should contest elections. “Family members supported me immensely and within two years I got the opportunity to contest the Assembly elections from Parvati constituency,” says Misal, who became the fourth woman MLA to have been elected from the city. “We need educated people to join politics, more women to serve society,” says the MLA who won by a huge margin of 65,000 votes this time.
A total of 16 women candidates have won the elections — BJP leads with 10, Congress five and NCP one. “This is a great feeling and it motivates us to work harder to achieve our goals,” says Misal, who says her three children Pooja, Teertha and Karan worked very hard during the campaign.
“Of course, I owe my success to my husband, party workers and voters most of all,” says the new MLA from Kothrud. “My husband has a tremendous understanding of politics. He understands in this field one can be called at odd hours and face vexatious issues,” says this post-graduate in science who was teaching science methodology to Seva Sadan’s DEd college students till a month ago.
Businessman Vishram Kulkarni is a loyal BJP worker. “Since 1990s, I have been involved as campaign chief for various BJP leaders and I have no regrets that my name was not considered for the post of councillor. It was Anil Shirole and other leaders who decided to encourage Medha to contest civic elections. Since then, there has been no stopping my wife who has her own commanding presence,” he says.
Medha recalls the first time she contested the elections in 2002, when her son Saurabh was barely five years old and daughter Kalyani was 10. “My mother looked after home matters. My husband and children have always been there for me. What more can I ask for,” she says.
Medha was in Mumbai on Monday for a party meeting. She says he is now gearing up to take up pending work in Kothrud.