A politician accepted to leaders of all political parties, Babulal Gaur passed away here on Wednesday. He breathed his last at a private hospital at the age of 89.
Gaur started his career as a minion at a liquor shop and reached the top post of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in 2004.
Once a Congress bastion, Madhya Pradesh witnessed a robust politician in Babulal Gaur. He was elected first to the State assembly in 1974. He holds the record for ten Assembly wins.
His life was no less than a fairy-tale where he started as an employee at a liquor shop, kalari, as he himself used to call it, and ended up as Chief Minister in Hindi heartland in 2004. Born in Pratapgarh’s Naugeer village on June 2, 1930 as Baburam Yadav, he was renamed as Baburam Gaur by his school teacher due to his excessive attention to studies. Gaur in his youth used to work at a cloth mill also. His father Ramprasad had won a dangal (Wrestling competition) in his village and the Britishers had offered him a job in liquor company in Bhopal.
People started calling him Babulal Gaur when he reached Madhya Pradesh at an early age and started working at a liquor shop. He then got in touch with RSS pracharaks who asked him to shun this immoral trade which Gaur agreed to. He returned to his village tried hands on farming but could not and decided to return to Bhopal. He then turned to social work in co-operation with RSS volunteers. Hailing from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Gaur found a job with Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) as a wage labourer and soon was engaged in trade union which helped his popularity grow by leaps and bounds.
After getting elected to MP Assembly as an independent in 1974, Gaur later won on Jan Sangh ticket in 1977. He became a minister for the first time in Sunderlal Patwa Govt of 1990-1992 and served as a Minister of Local Administration, Law and Legislative Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, Public Relations, Urban Welfare, Housing (Urban) & Rehabilitation and Bhopal Gas Relief and Rehabilitation.
With his iron hand against encroachments during this Govt, he earned a reputation of Bulldozer Minister. He himself used to narrate a tale that his bulldozer was so scary that people used to remove their encroachments on their own once the heavy machine was kept in their view with ignition on.