Kushabhau Thakre (born August 15, 1922 in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh – died December 28, 2003 in AIIMS, New Delhi) is an Indian politician belonging to Bharatiya Janata Party and Member of parliament.
Kushabhau Thakre was born at Dhar, Madhya Pradesh in a Maharashtrian Brahmin family to parents Dr. Sundar Rao Shripati Rao Thakre (father) and Smt. Shanta Bai Sundar Rao Thakre (mother). He was educated at Dhar and Gwalior. In 1942 he was inducted as a Pracharak by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh then moved to the Ratlam Division (Ratlam, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Jhabua, Chittaur, Kota, Bundi, Jhalawad, Banswada(Raj.), Dahod (Gujarat)). He moved up in the Jana Sangh, the political wing of the RSS at the time, and then in the Janata Party when the parties merged.
In 1956 he became Secretary (Organisation) Madhya Pradesh of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He was appointed All India Secretary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Orissa and also additional in charge of Gujarat in 1967.
In 1974 he was made All India Secretary (Organisation). During the 1977–1979 Emergency, he was jailed for 19 months alongside other opposition political leaders. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1979 in a by-election from Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh.
When the Bharatiya Janata Party was formed in 1980, he was appointed as a Secretary and in charge of Gujarat, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. Remained on this post until 1984. Throughout the years, he held offices as a national General Secretary, Vice-President or “in-charge” of a particular state. On April 14, 1998 Thakre was elected as President of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In August 2000, he stepped down from this post.
A true visionary and an efficient team builder Thakre has major contribution in building the organisation in Chhattisgarh. Leaders groomed by Thakre hold important positions in the state Government.
He died December 28, 2003 at the age of 81 at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi after prolonged illness as he was suffering from kidney cancer.