RIP Aaba

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Maharashtra mourns the demise of its beloved leader and former Home Minister R R Patil.

RR-Patil-LeadFormer Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, who was suffering from oral cancer, passed away in Mumbai yesterday. Celebrities and politicians mourned the death of Patil who was fondly known as Aaba. The senior NCP leader had been undergoing treatment at the Lilavati Hospital in Bandra for oral cancer. Patil, a prominent NCP leader from Sangli in western Maharashtra, was operated upon last December at Breach Candy Hospital and was later shifted to Lilavati Hospital. Mr Patil held important ministries under Prithviraj Chavan-led Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra.

Patil’s political career spanning over 25 years has been marked by both milestones and controversies which he always handled confidently. He had taken a decision to ban dance bars in the year 2005-06, much against the wishes of his party colleagues. And despite a legal battle, he stuck to the decision till the end.

Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan said, “I am deeply saddened by this news. He was an able leader who had achieved many things at a young age. Mr Patil had worked in several departments. He used to discuss every matter with me and resolve various differences between Congress and NCP amicably.”

NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal said, “Doctor had tried their best to save Mr Patil’s life but his health started deteriorating. The NCP has lost a good leader. His body will be kept in the NCP office and will be sent to his home town for performing final rites.”

In 1990, RR Patil was elected as MLA from Tasgaon constituency in Sangli district in western Maharashtra. Throughout his political career, what remained the hallmark was his loyalty to the Maratha leader Sharad Pawar.

Social activist Anna Hazare said, “We have lost an able leader and a good activist and ex-chief minister of Maharashtra. He was involved in the ‘Gram Swachata Abhiyan’ and also had worked for empowering villages. I don’t campaign for any political parties but I had campaigned for him. I thought he deserved to be in the assembly.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis said, “R R Patil could have continued working for the welfare of masses and people of Maharashtra but destiny had something else in store for him. It’s huge loss for the state which can’t be repaired. The state government will hold a one day mourning for him.”

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar said, “RR Patil’s death is shocking news for all of us. He has worked at all levels like zilla parishad, panchayat samiti and assembly. Mr Patil had set an example for other politicians about how to conduct oneself in the assembly. He was not well since last three months. It will take time for all of us to recover from this loss.”

Education Minister Vinod Tawde tweeted, “Deeply saddened to hear the sudden demise of Shri. R.R.Patil. We have lost a great political leader today. My condolences to his family. RIP”

Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan said, “I had gone to the hospital to meet him. It’s sad news for all of us which I can’t believe. Shankarrao Chavan had praised Patil by saying that he is an intelligent leader.”

Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule (MP), said, “Aaba always came across as a very confident person.”

Patil’s body was taken to the NCP head office at 6 pm from the hospital for darshan. The body will be taken to his native village in Sangdi, Tasgaon, and final rites will be held in his village on Tuesday at 12 noon.