NCP leader R R Patil dies at 57

NCP leader R R Patil dies at 57

NCP leader R R Patil  dies at 57

Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader R R Patil, who was Maharashtra home minister during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, passed away on Monday following multi-organ failure while battling oral cancer. 

Known as Aaba, RR or RR Aaba, the 57-year-old, considered close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, is survived by wife, two daughters and a son. A workaholic with a “Mr Clean” image, Patil was respected by fellow politicians cutting across party lines.

A grassroots leader, the six-time MLA had handled portfolios of Rural Development and Home, and also served as deputy chief minister briefly. He banned dance bars in Maharashtra, launching the Sant Gadgebaba Swachata Abhiyan and drafting the surrender policy for Maoists.

Patil was currently an MLA from the Kavathe Mahankal constituency in the Sangli district of the state. He was from the Anjani village in Tasgaon taluka, where his last rites will be performed on Tuesday.

The Maharashtra government has declared state mourning and a state funeral.
The body will be kept at Rashtrawadi Bhavan for people to pay their respects.

Patil was ill for the past three months. He was initially admitted to Breach Candy Hospital for treatment of oral cancer. After discharge, he suffered a heart attack and was treated at Bombay Hospital. He underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy at Nanavati Hospital, and was admitted to Lilavati Hospital for further care. Reacting to his death, Sharad Pawar said: “He was an honest worker and remained connected with the people.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “My thoughts are with R R Patil's family. I am saddened to know of his demise, which leaves a void in Maharashtra politics.”

In Maharashtra, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao said: “Patil personified honesty and simplicity in public life. Patil, who came from a humble background, always maintained contact with the people of the state and his electorates.” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed shock over his death, saying: “We have lost a sensitive leader, a great parliamentarian and a true human being.”

Patil often courted controversy. His comment after the 26/11 attacks, that “Such small incidents keep happening in big cities,” invited criticism. He had to be resign as home minister because of it.  He also faced criticism for banning dance bars. However, he did not budge from his stand, maintaining that many of them were being used as pick-up joints.

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