Bhanwarlal Meghwal, Rajasthan Cabinet minister and an influential Dalit leader, passed away on Monday. He was 72 years old.
Meghwal was admitted in Gurugram’s Medanta hospital in May after he suffered a brain haemorrhage. He was on the ventilator for several weeks. His daughter, Banarsi Meghwal, had passed away in October this year after a brief illness.
Meghwal had suffered a brain haemorrhage in May this year and was shifted to Medanta hospital for treatment.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and several Congress leaders expressed sorrow at the passing away of Meghwal, who was minister for social justice and empowerment and disaster management in Gehlot’s Cabinet. He was education minister in Gehlot’s last government from 2008-2013.
Gehlot expressed grief at Meghwal’s demise. “I am deeply saddened at the news of the passing away of our colleague and cabinet minister Master Bhanwarlal Meghwal. Late Bhanwarlal Meghwal and I have worked together since 1980. He always actively raised issues of public interest and problems related to the Dalit community. He made a special place in public life through his talent and hard work. His commendable service in several important ministries will always be remembered,” Gehlot said in his condolence message.
Former Rajasthan chief minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje in her message said, “I am saddened at the demise of senior Congress leader and cabinet minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal. His demise is a loss not only for the Congress party but for the entire state. I pray for peace to the departed soul."
Rajasthan Congress President Govind Singh Dotasara in a tweet said, “I learnt the sad news of the passing away of senior Congress leader and my colleague and guru Bhanwarlal Maghwal. His loss will always be felt in the Congress family. I pray that god grants peace to the departed soul."
While the state government has declared a one-day state mourning on Tuesday, the Congress party has cancelled a workshop scheduled for Tuesday.
Meghwal, a five-time MLA, won the 2018 assembly elections from the Sujangarh seat in Churu district. He was seen as an efficient administrator.
Meghwal was a stalwart Dalit leader with a stronghold on Dalit votes in the Shekhawati and Bikaner regions of Rajasthan, covering the northern and western parts of the state.
Meghwal was a veteran Congress leader who was associated with the Congress since the time of Indira Gandhi.