Vilasrao Deshmukh passes away

Union Minister for Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh, 67, who was undergoing treatement for a liver ailment, died at a Chennai hospital today.

Vilasrao Deshmukh
Vilasrao Deshmukh (File pic)

The Minister died of multiple organ failure around 1400 hrs even as the doctors were trying to find a donor for his liver transplant.

An attempt to harvest liver from a brain dead donor from a government hospital here last night failed as the man died before doctors could operate on him, hospital sources told PTI.

A team from Global Hospitals, where Deshmukh was admitted on August 6, had planned to retrieve the liver from the 31-year-old donor at the hospital, but he died, forcing them to look for another donor, the sources said. Following this, the hospital said they were looking for a liver donor.

The former Maharashtra Chief Minister had shown signs of improvement and been on and off the ventilator before being prepared for a transplant.

His family members were by his side when Deshmukh breathed his last, they said.

The former Maharashtra CM will be cremated at his native Babhalgaon village in Latur district tomorrow, family sources said.

The mortal remains of the departed leader will be brought to Latur tomorrow and kept at his house in Babhalgaon from 9 am to 3 pm for people to pay their last respects, his brother Dilip Deshmukh, said. The funeral procession will start at 3 pm and last rites would be performed at 4 pm, he said.

He is survived by wife, Vaishali Deshmukh, and three sons -- Amit Deshmukh who is the MLA of Latur city, Ritesh and Dheeraj.

The former Maharashtra Chief Minister had been rushed to Chennai last week for medical treatment as his health condition worsened. He was air-dashed to Global Hospital to undergo a liver transplant.

Photos: Rare pictures of Vilasrao Deshmukh

Deshmukh was in the intensive care unit (ICU) after being admitted for liver ailment. Renowned liver specialist Mohammed Rela had been attending to the former Maharashtra chief minister.

For the last few months, Deshmukh has been taking light assignments to avoid strain on account of his health condition, a Congress official indicated.

Deshmukh's illness had forced Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi to be given the additional charge of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry.

Deshmukh was given the additional charge of the Ministry immediately after Virbhadra Singh resigned in the wake of a Himachal Pradesh court framing corruption charges against him in a 23-year-old case in June, this year.

Having entered active politics in 1974, Vilasrao Dagadojirao Deshmukh was a two-time Chief Minister of Maharashtra, from 1999 to 2003 and from 2004 to 2008.

Photos: Vilasrao Deshmukh and controversies

Deshmukh, who was born on May 26, 1945, in Babhalgaon in the Latur district, was appointed as minister of science and technology and minister of earth sciences on July 12, 2011.

An avid sports supporter, Deshmukh was the President of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA),

Deshmukh had been embroiled in several controversies in recent times. On February 9, 2012, the Bombay High Court ordered filmmaker Subhash Ghai to return to Maharashtra government 20-acres allotted for his film institute.

The court indicted Vilasrao Deshmukh for "misusing his official position" as chief minister by showing "undue favours" to Ghai.

Vilasrao also found himself under fire after visiting the Hotel Taj after 26/11 attack in 2008, with actor son Riteish and filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma. He subsequently quit from his post.

In March this year, a Mumbai court ordered the police to investigate allegations that the Union minister had shielded a Congress MLA from complaints by poor farmers in Buldhana district of Marathwada.

He was also named in he high profile Adarsh housing scam. An affidavit filed in the Bombay high court has alleged that Vilasrao owned two flats through proxies in the scam-tainted Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.

Union Minister of Power Sushil Kumar Shinde had also shifted blame on to Vilasrao as he told a judicial panel that the decision to allot government land and grant of additional Floor Space Index to the housing society had been taken during Deshmukh's tenure as the chief minister. 

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