Madhavasena Solanki, the chief minister of Gujarat who held four times and died at the age of 93 on Saturday, was a politician and man of ideas. The social alliance he invented in the 1970s – KHAM – allowed Congress to regain the ground it lost during the Navnirman Movement and win successive elections in 1980 and 1985, with a record number of seats. The KHAM Alliance included the Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim communities, which made up more than 50 percent of the state’s population. As CM, Solanki supported this alliance by introducing reservations to OBCs in education and employment. However, it provoked a backlash from the upper classes, which until then had run the levers of power in Gujarat. Although Solanki returned to office with a greater majority in 1985, he was forced to resign after the anti-reservation riots that gained a societal role. Congress has not been able to strengthen the social alliance that Solanki forged or translate the goodwill between the OBCs, the tribes, etc. In a permanent electoral base. In fact, state politics left him to become a member of Rajya Sabha and Minister of Foreign Affairs of PV Narasimha Rao government allowed BJP To grow in Gujarat – of course, against the backdrop of the Ram Janmabumi movement.
Solanki received his radical humanist education at MN Roy and was influenced by peasant leader Indulal Yagnik, distant from his contemporaries in Congress. As CM, he introduced midday meals in schools and made education free for girls. For him, KHAM was not just an electoral tactic but an extension of a social vision that promised the fruits of democracy and the electoral office to a wide swath of society. He is credited with shaping the Congressional response to the Mandal Commission after VP Singh’s government announced its implementation in 1990 – the party supported OBC reservations at the center but advocated for the exclusion of the cream class among benefactor communities from mandal jurisdiction.
Solanke’s political career ended after an indecent act, allegedly on the orders of his party, in the Bofors case when he was Minister of the Union. Forced to leave office, he retired from active politics and retired to his home and library.