NCP MLA passes away during post-Covid complications

NCP MLA passes away during treatment for post-Covid complications

Bhalke had resigned from the House in 2018 over the demand of reservation for Maratha community

NCP MLA Bharat Bhalke. Credit: Twitter/@mlabharatbhalke

Nationalist Congress Party MLA Bharat Bhalke died here on Saturday while undergoing treatment for post-Covid-19 complications, a hospital official said.

Bhalke (60), a three-term MLA from Pandharpur-Mangalvedha constituency in Solapur district was admitted to a Pune-based private hospital on Nov. 9 after being diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome.

A doctor who treated Bhalke said that he tested Covid-19 positive on Oct. 30 and returned home after recovery.

He was readmitted on Nov. 9 after complaints of fever and cough, the doctor said. Bhalke's condition recently deteriorated and he was on ventilator support.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar visited the hospital on Friday evening to inquire about his health.

Bhalke had resigned from the House in 2018 over a demand for reservation for the Maratha community. He was then a Congress MLA.

A former wrestler, Bhalke had defeated five-time MLA Sudhakar Paricharak - who died three months ago following post-Covid complications - in the 2014 and the 2019 Assembly polls.

Bhalke won the 2009 Assembly election as a Left front nominee, defeating former minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil. He won again in 2014 on a Congress ticket and became an MLA for the third time in 2019, contesting the polls as a candidate of the Pawar-led NCP.