Maharashtra's longest-serving MLA Ganpatrao Deshmukh passed away on Friday. He was 96.
Deshmukh, who was the MLA for a record eleven times, represented Sangola seat in Solapur district.
Deshmukh was from the Shetkari Kamgar Party and worked with the first Maharashtra chief minister Yashvanrao Chavan and also with former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. However, he declined the request from his supporters to contest the 2019 Assembly election due to his age.
Ganpatrao was first elected to the Maharashtra Assembly in the 1962 elections, and since then he won every election, except for the 1972 and 1995 elections.
He first became a minister of state for a brief period when Sharad Pawar split from Congress and formed Progressive Democratic Front government in 1978, and the second time was in 1999, when the Shetkari Kamgar Party supported the Congress-NCP alliance.
Several politicians, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Guv Bhagat Singh Koshyari, condoled Ganpatrao Deshmukh's demise.
"Saddened to know about the demise of seniormost leader of PWP and the longest term member of the State Legislature Shri Ganpatrao Deshmukh. A model People’s representative, Shri Deshmukh maintained his chord with farmers, workers and ordinary citizens all his life," tweeted Koshyari.
"He was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. A man of peace and restraint, Shri Deshmukh was a fearless leader, having friends across the political spectrum. In his demise the State has lost an institution in State legislature," he added.
"My heartfelt condolence on the demise of Ganpatrao Deshmukh, an 11 term MLA who passed away today. I had the privilege of being with him between 2014-19 as an MLA in Maharashtra assembly. His simplicity made him a people’s man. May his soul rest in peace," tweeted AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel.
Here are a few Twitter reactions:
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