Veteran Congress leader Parasram Maderna, considered a strong pillar of Jat politics in Rajasthan, died here on Sunday following respiratory failure. He was 88.

He had been kept on ventilator in Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital for the past few days after he reported multi-organ failure.

A nine-time MLA, Mr. Maderna was a Minister several times and was the Speaker of the State Assembly between 1999 and 2004. He was Leader of Opposition twice in the Assembly and was also the Pradesh Congress Committee president during 1989 to 1994. His body was brought from the hospital to his residence here to enable the people to pay homage to him. AICC general secretary C. P. Joshi, Union Minister Lal Chand Kataria and Gujarat Governor Kamla were among those who laid wreaths at the body. The cremation will take place on Monday at his native village Chadi in Jodhpur district.

The Jat leader was a product of the agrarian movement led by Baldev Ram Mirdha through Marwar Kisan Sabha in western Rajasthan in early 1950’s. During the past two decades, the Parasram Maderna-Ram Niwas Mirdha combine was recognised as the sole representative of the farmer community in the State without the emergence of a second rung leadership.

After being active in politics for six decades, Mr. Maderna faced isolation within the party towards the end of his life.