Former Goa minister Wilfred Mesquita dies

Former Goa minister Wilfred Mesquita died at a hospital in Mumbai after a brief illness, family sources said on Tuesday.

He was 70.

Mesquita was undergoing treatment at the Mumbai-based P D Hinduja Hospital where he breathed his last around 11 pm on Monday, the sources said, without divulging any further details.

Born at Divar in North Goa district on April 14, 1949, Mesquita graduated from the Goa Medical College in the 1970s. He later did specialisation in medicine from a college in Mumbai before taking the plunge into politics.

During his decades-long political career, he had a stint in various parties in the coastal state.

He was the founder vice president of the then ruling Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (youth wing) in 1974.

He served as the cabinet minister in late 1990s in the then Congress-led state government and held various portfolios like revenue, environment, sports and youth affairs, power, law and judiciary and legislative affairs.

He was a leader of the Goa BJP since 2007 and served as the party's vice president and spokesman.

He was also a former chairman of the state forest corporation.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane expressed grief over Mesquita's demise.

"Heartbroken to hear about the passing away of my dear friend and Ex-Vasco MLA, Dr Wilfred Mesquita, who was very dear to me. May your soul rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family in their time of grief," Rane said in a tweet on Tuesday morning.

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