The former Union Minister, Mohan Dharia, passed away at a hospital here on Monday morning. He was 88. He was accorded a state funeral. He was a fierce advocate of farmer rights. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2005.

Mr. Dharia was born on February 14, 1925 in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. A lawyer by profession, he was a part of the Praja Socialist Party during the Freedom struggle. He was a Minister of State in the Indira Gandhi government and fiercely opposed the Emergency. This earned him the title of ‘Young Turk.’

Later, as a member of the Janata Party, he was Union Commerce Minister.

After retiring from active politics, Mr. Dharia led a movement for water conservation through his organisation, Vanrai.

Honest worker: Chavan

“Mohan Dharia’s contribution to politics and the environment as an honest worker is unforgettable,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who attended the funeral, said: “He was a selfless warrior all throughout his life. He has been an inspiration to people of Maharashtra.”

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