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Manohar Joshi, stalwart who wore many hats

Updated on: 24 February,2024 07:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prasun Choudhari , Sameer Surve |

Leaders across party lines hail trailblazing former chief minister, recall his penchant for punctuality, knack for discipline

Manohar Joshi, stalwart who wore many hats

Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais pays his respects at the funeral of former Chief Minister Manohar Joshi

Key Highlights

  1. Manohar Joshi died at Hinduja Hospital early on Friday
  2. he veteran leader had been admitted on February 21 after suffering a cardiac arrest
  3. Leaders across party lines visited Joshi’s Matunga residence to pay their respects

Former Lok Sabha Speaker and Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi died at Hinduja Hospital early on Friday. He was 86. The veteran leader had been admitted on February 21 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Leaders across party lines, including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and MNS chief Raj Thackeray, visited Joshi’s Matunga residence to pay their respects to the veteran politician before his last rites were conducted at Bhagoji Baluji Keer Hindu Shamshan Bhoomi in Dadar on Friday afternoon. The stalwart was accorded a guard of honour and a last salute from the police force. 

The leader is accorded a guard of honour at the Bhagoji Baluji Keer Hindu Shamshan Bhoomi in Dadar. Pics/Sayyed Sameer AbediThe leader is accorded a guard of honour at the Bhagoji Baluji Keer Hindu Shamshan Bhoomi in Dadar. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Joshi Sir, as he was popularly known, was the first chief minister of the undivided Shiv Sena and held the post from 1995 to 1999.

Over the course of an enviable, decades-long political career, besides being the first non-Congress chief minister of the state, Joshi served as a corporator, mayor, member of Vidhan Parishad, Vidhan Sabha, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Union minister.

‘He was a true Shiv Sainik’

An emotional Uddhav Thackeray, eulogised Joshi, a close confidant of his father Bal Thackeray, saying, “Manohar Joshi, chief minister, Union minister, speaker of Lok Sabha... Yes, but more than that, he was a true Shiv Sainik. Manohar Joshi was with us even during the crisis [split in party]. He always stayed loyal to the Shiv Sena. He was imprisoned with my father and Dattaji Salvi [Shiv Sena leader and trade unionist] too. Manohar Joshi was a first-generation leader of Shiv Sena. Young Shiv Sainiks are still taking inspiration from him. The Shiv Sena still rises after overcoming crises. Although efforts are being made to end the Shiv Sena even today, it is not ending but growing.”

Shinde hailed Joshi as a “disciplined and firm leader who had great loyalty to Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray and contributed whole-heartedly to build Maharashtra”.

“He had a deep affection for Maharashtra and the Marathi-speaking people. He was recognised as a scholarly and cultured face in Maharashtra politics. Sir was very humble, moderate, courteous and disciplined. His achievements and contributions in the political, social and educational fields of Maharashtra were radical. He was passionate about the field of education. That is why he turned the youth towards technical education through Kohinoor Technical Institute," Shinde said.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said he was saddened by the news of Joshi’s passing. “With Sir's demise, the civilised face of Maharashtra politics has been lost. We have lost a leader who was very humble, and passionate about Maharashtra as well as the Marathi manoos,” he said.

Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar chief Sharad Pawar, who attended the funeral, said Joshi was known in political circles for his outspokenness and bold work attitude. “He was known as a very trusted colleague of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. While holding the post of chief minister of Maharashtra, he took everyone along and worked hard for the development of the state,” Pawar said.

Devendra Fadnavis, deputy chief minister said he had shared a personal relationship with Joshi. “He completed all stages in his political life from corporator to mayor, MLA to chief minister and MP to Lok Sabha speaker. He was known as a very disciplined, moderate and studious leader. Be it in his personal life or political life, was always particular about time. His contribution in the socio-political and educational fields of Maharashtra will never be forgotten.”

Gajanan Kirtikar, Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) MP, said, “Sir was known for discipline. I have worked with him in the party as well as in the state government. He was very punctual. He had a vision of development. He was a chief minister who worked at the ground level. His contribution to building Maharashtra as well the education field will never be forgotten.”

Former Mayor Vishakha Raut, “Sir was never late. Even when he was chief minister and Lok Sabha speaker, he was always on time.”

Year Manohar Joshi’s term as CM began 

The storied career of a  trailblazer

Manohar Joshi

Elected as corporator

Elected to legislative council 

Served as mayor of Mumbai. 

Served as Leader of Opposition in legislative assembly 

March 14, 1995 to January 31, 1999
Served as chief minister 

Represented the Mumbai North Central seat in LS 

1999 to 2002
Served as Union minister of heavy industry and public enterprises 

2002 to 2004
Served as Lok Sabha speaker 

Elected to RS, where he remained an MP till 2012

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