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Sundarrao Abasaheb Solanke
|2nd Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra|
18 July 1978 – 17 February 1980
|Chief Minister||Sharad Pawar|
|Preceded by||Nasikrao Tirpude|
|Succeeded by||President's Rule|
|President, Marathwada Shikshan Prasarak Mandal|
|President, Beed Zilla Parishad|
|Born||17 September 1927|
Mohkhed, Marathwada, Hyderabad Princely State
|Died||5 November 2014|
|Children||Prakashdada Solanke |
Sundarrao Solanke was born in affluent Solunke maratha family of Mohikhed village in Majalgaon tehsil of Beed district. He did his graduation in LLB at Osmania University of erstwhile Hyderabad state. Though he wanted to become doctor his elder brother Dajisaheb Solanke Patil requested him to become an advocate and serve the people of Maharashtra.
Solanke was elected for first time as a member of Beed local board in 1962 and became the first president of Beed Zilla Parishad.
As a president of Beed zilla parishad he worked for overall development of the district and made a separate identity in the politics of Beed district. In 1967, general assembly elections as well as Loksabha elections were announced and Solanke declared candidate of Congress from Kaij constituency. That time Beed district politics was dominated by Communist ideology. Nana Patil was contesting for Beed Loksabha seat. Comrade Gangadhar Appa Burande of Communist Party of India filed nomination against Solanke. Under leadership of Yashwantrao Chavan and Vinayakrao Patil, Solanke won election. He became MLA for first time and given responsibility of deputy minister.
In 1972 Maharashtra assembly elections, his Kaij constituency was reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates and so Solanke decided to contest election from Georai constituency of Beed District. He was elected unopposed and became a cabinet minister in governments of Vasantrao Naik and Shankarrao Chavan government.
He was elected from Majalgaon constituency in 1978 for the third time as MLA, once again from a different constituency. In 1978 when Vasantdada Patil was the chief minister of Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar and Solanke withdrew support and formed new government under Progressive Democratic Front. Pawar became chief minister and Solanke became deputy chief minister.
As Deputy Chief Minister, Solanke recommended waiving the bunding loans of farmers in cabinet, which was agreed.
Solanke crossed over to Indira Congress in 1980, but was defeated in Najalgaon Vidhan Sabha seat by Govindrao Dak of Urs Congress.  He never contested elections after that defeat.
Solanke was instrumental in the establishment of many sugar-producing factories in the region.
Controversy over Majalgaon Dam
The Jayakwadi stage II project that is Majalgaon Dam approved by government of Maharashtra due to Solanke. But while construction of dam a serious communal problem arose. There was one religious holy place or structure in the project affected area, stalling the project work due to heavy opposition from respective followers to shift the same. Solanke tried unsuccessfully to get support to continue the project work. Finally he has decided to shift the religious structure ignoring the opposition and completed the Majalgaon Dam successfully. This project changed the face of the Majalgaon, parts of Jalna and Parbhani district. In the next assembly elections, in 1980, most of the community believing in holy structure voted against him. He lost by margin of 3500 votes and decided not to contest elections again.
A statue commemorating Solanke was erected at Sundarnagar after his death.
- "Senior veteran congress leader Sundarrao Solanke passed away". google India. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- "Sundarrao Solanke passed away". google India. Retrieved 26 October 2017.