Rich tributes were paid today to former deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra late R R Patil who passed away on February 16 last year after battling cancer.
Senior NCP leaders and thousands of admirers of Patil gathered at his native place in Sangli district of western Maharashtra to pay tributes to him.
R R Patil
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, "My heartfelt homage to the departed soul of late R R (Patil was popularly known as RR after his initials).
"A humble human, a saviour of dignity of woman, Patil worked ceaselessly to uphold social morality and to keep peace and tranquillity," Pawar said. Describing Patil as a "clean person," the former Union Minister said the late NCP stalwart was a "Champion of cleanliness." "Without him, we feel grief and loneliness," Pawar tweeted.
Former Union minister Praful Patel said, "I pay my humble homage to R R Patil on his first death anniversary. "Aaba (another popular nickname for Patil) lives in our memories forever," Patel added.
Raosaheb Ramrao Patil died at a city hospital on February 16 last year at 58. Patil was suffering from oral cancer. His political career spanning over 25 years was marked by both milestones and controversies which he always handled confidently.
In 2005-06, much against the wishes of his party colleagues, Patil went ahead with the decision to ban the dance bars across Maharashtra and despite a legal battle, he stuck to the decision till the end.
Patil, who was deputy chief minister in the Congress-NCP government which was in power until mid 2014 and was in-charge of the Home portfolio, remained the party's face in rural areas.
Often projecting himself as a simpleton, his oratorical skills in Marathi packaged with the rural tone and context often marked him apart from others in the political arena. After the Mumbai terror attack in 26/11, Patil landed in trouble for his controversial remark, "Bade bade shaharon mein, chhote chhote ghatna hote raheti hain..." (In big cities, small incidents happen).
This remark proved to be costly for him as he had to quit from the position of Home Minister. However, after 2009 assembly elections, Patil regained the home ministry portfolio which he retained till the assembly elections held in 2014.
Coming from a humble background, Patil, after completing his law studies plunged into Congress politics. Till the last, he remained grounded to his rural roots to such an extent that he ensured his children Smita and Rohit also studied in a zilla parishad school and Sangli college.