Born in a family whose contribution to the freedom struggle is highly recognized in Maharashtra and at a national level too, I've got the opportunity to gain insight right from childhood. My grandfather, late Shri G. D. Tapase was one of the foremost Gandhian leaders from Maharashtra. My formative years were greatly influenced by his towering personality. People would often tell me that I should aspire to become like him.
  Memories of my days at UP and Haryana Raj Bhawan are treasured in my mind as my grandfather would always introduce me to the state guests. I remember meeting Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, Morarji Desai, Giani Zail Singh, Kapil Dev, King Birendra Singh of Nepal and a host of other leaders who have been instrumental in national and state politics.
  It was only after the demise of my grandfather in 1991, that I started to understand his journey from a young freedom fighter to a Congressman to a Governor. I was determined to join politics and follow my grandfather's footsteps to contribute to our country's future. From an early age, I started to build the foundation of my future journey and have passed through stages of student and youth leadership which have contributed to my development, forming what I am today.
Mahesh with Shri G.D. Tapase
  The Beginning:
  My first political post (1989) was that of being the Kalyan City Vice President of National Students' Union of India (NSUI). I enjoyed working in this student's wing of the Congress Party as I had the opportunity to meet hundreds of students. Issues like hygiene in the college canteen were important to me. Being a NCC cadet naturally taught discipline and leadership. My activities in the NSUI were noticed by the seniors in the Party and I was soon inducted in the Youth Congress. By 1995, I was already an office bearer of the Maharashtra State Youth Congress. By 1999, I had worked as Secretary, General Secretary and Spokesperson and already established myself as a youth leader.
  The NCP Journey:
  In 1999, Mr. Sharad Pawar along with Mr. PA Sangma and Mr. Tariq Anwar formed the NCP. Thousands of youth citizens from Maharashtra enrolled in the new party. Mr. Pawar's charismatic leadership had always appealed to me and his call could not be resisted. I joined the NCP along with my supporters. I was soon inducted as the Spokesperson for the Maharashtra State Youth NCP, a post which I held till 2002.
  In 2002, I was appointed as the Kalyan District Youth NCP President. This was a leadership role in true sense. I traveled extensively in the district organizing rallies, gheraos, meetings, membership drive, election campaign, sports competitions, etc. It was for the first time in 2005 that the NCP had a Mayor in the Kalyan Municipal Corporation. Senior party leaders were very happy with my work and a bigger opportunity for me was on its way.
  The post of State NCP Youth President was looking out for its ideal candidate. Being happy with my performance as District President, my name was proposed to Mr. Sharad Pawar by Mr. Arun Gujrathi, the then President of Maharashtra NCP. On 18th January, 2006, I got an appointment letter from Mr. Conrad Sangma, National Youth NCP President. A new journey had just begun. I toured Maharashtra day and night meeting thousands of youth citizens who were eager to join the NCP.
  I had organized a huge meeting at Aurangabad on 30th October, 2007 attended by about 1.5 lakh youth citizens in the presence of Mr. Sharad Pawar, Mr. Praful Patel, Mr. Chaggan Bhujbal, Mr. R.R. Patil, Mr. Arun Gujrathi, Smt. Suryakanta Patil, Smt. Supriya Sule and a host of other NCP ministers, MPs, MLAs & dignitaries. The gathering witnessed more than two lakh youngsters. From that point onwards, I received recognition as a leader in Maharashtra. People from all walks of life started coming to me. A lot of young political leaders were nominated by me for the local body elections.
  I must mention here that Mrs. Supriya Sule (MP) through her NGO, drafted the Maharashtra Youth Policy, which was welcomed by me. Mrs. Supriya Sule has always stood by social causes be it women empowerment, save the girl child, education for tribal children, etc. She remains a constant source of inspiration to me.
  Maharashtra has a diverse culture, tradition, lifestyle, topography and hence the needs of people vary from village to village. I visited far off areas like Gadchiroli, which is a Naxal belt. All this has brought to me significant insights which will help me make a difference to people. There are many gaps when it comes to providing education, hygiene and employment. All this can change, if the bank of untapped energy of the youth is unleashed. This is exactly what I wish to do. India has the largest youth population in the world. I strongly believe that only the youth can lead the country towards peace, prosperity and development.
  I continued as the State NCP Youth President till 2010 after which my party has elected me as their Spokesperson. This is a very promising and challenging position, as I am required to update the media on various issues regarding governance and party affairs.
Addressing the media
Delivering a speech
NCP membership drive at Ambernath
Youth empowerment