Former Maharashtra home minister RR Patil died at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai following a prolonged illness at the age of 57. He is survived by his wife and three children.
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The senior NCP leader, undergoing treatment for oral cancer, was in critical condition and on life support, a doctor attending on him said here today.
Patil, a six-term MLA from Tasgaon in Sangli district in western Maharashtra, was operated last December at Breach Candy Hospital and undergoing treatment at Lilavati Hospital.
Earlier in the day, ex-chief minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan (R) met RR Patil at Lilavati Hospital. Pic/Shadab Khan
Admired for his clean image and easy accessibility, Patil was among the top rung leaders of NCP.
His mortal remains will be kept at state NCP headquarters at Nariman Point for two hours from 6 pm for people to pay their last respects, party sources said.
The last rites of the departed leader will be performed at his native Anjani village at 1 pm tomorrow, they said.
Fondly called 'Aaba' in political circles, he was considered very close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Patil was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1990 and appointed Rural Development Minister in the Congress-NCP government in 1999. He was allotted the important Home portfolio in 2003 after the then Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who held it, resigned in the wake of allegations of his involvement in the Telgi scam. He was made Deputy Chief Minister in 2004.
He had to step down as Home Minister after his remarks made in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks that "small incidents do happen in big cities" triggered an outrage.
Patil was appointed Home Minister for a second time in 2009 after the Congress-NCP combine retained power in the state.
He was also the man behind the controversial decision to ban dance bars in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.