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Backroom boy who became BJP's public face

Pramod Mahajan was the Bharatiya Janata Party's suave, sophisticated mascot. From Laptop Brigade to Five-Star Politician, Mahajan gave Indian politics new colour, new phrases -- spawned around him -- and a whole new face to a party that had till then the air of a strict, regimented lot.

He lived glamorously, organised meticulously and never bothered about the controversies that would keep cropping up around him. He battled his own brother's bullets, till he succumbed in Mumbai on May 3.

One of the three sons and two daughters of a lower middle class family from Marathwada with old links Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Mahajan joined the RSS as a child. But it was as a sub-editor of the Marathi RSS mouthpiece Tarun Bharat in the early 1970s that he was first initiated into active politics.

Like many BJP leaders, Mahajan was jailed during the Emergency. He was lodged in the Nashik Central Jail.

Soon after, Atal Bihari Vajpayee noticed his oratorical skills at a rally in 1977. Pramod Mahajan's political rise had begun.

Also See: The Rediff Interview with Pramod Mahajan

Also See: Complete Coverage: Pramod Mahajan Shot

Text: Rediff News feature team | Photograph: Jewella C Miranda

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