Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday paid a visit to the Pune home of MP Girish Bapat who passed away after a prolonged illness.
Shinde and Fadnavis consoled the family members of Bapat after paying floral tributes to the leader.
The 72-year-old BJP leader, ailing for the last one-and-a-half years, was admitted to the ICU of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in critical condition and was on life support.
He had served as the MLA from Kasba Peth constituency in Pune five times. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019.
Condoling Bapat's death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was a humble and hardworking leader who served society diligently and worked extensively for the development of Maharashtra and was passionate about the growth of Pune.
"His passing away is saddening. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti," Modi tweeted.
Bapat's last public appearance was on February 26 when he cast vote for the Kasba Peth Assembly bypoll sitting in a wheelchair with his nasal cannula on.
The Opposition then accused the BJP of playing with Bapat's health.
Despite his ill health, Bapat had addressed BJP workers briefly at Kesariwada.
The senior BJP leader enjoyed a good rapport with Opposition leaders as well and was looked upon as a mentor by many politicians from Pune district.
"In his long political career of four decades, Bapat always took an all-inclusive stand". The news of his demise is extremely saddening," NCP chief Sharad Pawar tweeted.
After winning the Kasba Peth bypoll, Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar visited Bapat's residence to seek his blessings.
Born on September 3, 1950, in Talegaon Dabhade in Pune district, Bapat worked with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in his initial years.
During the Emergency, he was lodged in Nashik jail for 19 months.
He became a corporator of PMC in 1983 and after 12 years he was elected as MLA from the Kasba Peth constituency.
He served as the Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection, Food and Drugs Administration, and Parliamentary Affairs in the then Maharashtra government headed by Devendra Fadnavis (2014-19).
(With inputs from agencies)
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