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Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar passes away at 88

Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar

Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar   | Photo Credit: Twitter/ @eshwar_khandre

Senior Congressman and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar passed away early Wednesday at a private hospital in Pune following a brief illness, said sources. He was 88.

According to hospital sources, the condition of the veteran Congressman, who had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and had apparently recovered, deteriorated on Tuesday.

“Mr. Patil Nilangekar passed away sometime around 2 a.m. today. The cause of death was kidney failure,” said a medical official.

Mr. Patil Nilangekar, who hailed from Nilanga city in Latur district in the State’s Marathwada region, had the briefest run as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, serving in that capacity for less than a year between June1985 and March 1986 after controversial circumstances forced him to resign.

The senior Congressman, who had been suffering from a number of comorbidities, including diabetes and high blood pressure, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on July 16. He was later moved from Latur to Pune for further treatment.

Condolences flowed in across the political spectrum, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Kohsyari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray along with senior Congress leaders paying tributes.

“Shri Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar Ji was a stalwart of Maharashtra politics. He served the state diligently, especially working for the welfare of farmers and the poor. Anguished by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and supporters,” tweeted the Prime Minister.

Mr. Thackeray said that Mr. Nilangekar Patil was a freedom fighter with “commitment and firm views, who was at the forefront of the State’s development and progress of the Marathwada region”.

Mr. Koshyari said that Mr. Patil Nilangekar had remained a popular man of the masses.

“As a distinguished member of Maharashtra State Legislature for several terms and later as Chief Minister, he made invaluable contributions to the progress and development of the State,” said the Governor in a statement.

Mr. Patil Nilangekar was the second politician from Latur district to test positive for the virus. Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Ausau, Abhimanyu Pawar, had tested positive as well.

A powerful cooperative leader from Marathwada who was active in the field of education, Nilanga was the stalwart Congressman’s virtual fiefdom with the Nilankegar family a dominant force in the politics of Latur and the Marathwada region.

Before its delimitation in 2008, Mr. Patil Nilangekar won the Nilanga Assembly constituency in consecutive Maharashtra Assembly elections from 1962 to 1980, and then held the ‘pocket borough’ again in the 1990, 1999 and 2004 Assembly polls.

His daughter-in-law Rupatai Patil Nilangekar, who is with the BJP, was Latur MP between 2004 and 2009 while his grandson Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar was a minister in the former Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra.

He is survived by his wife, three sons, a daughter and grandchildren. His last rites were performed in Nilanga.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 7:51:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/former-maharashtra-chief-minister-shivajirao-patil-nilangekar-passes-away-at-88/article32273544.ece

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