Pune: Ganpatrao Deshmukh, the longest-serving MLA of Maharashtra and a senior leader of the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), died in a private hospital in Solapur on late Friday evening, said family sources.
Deshmukh (94), a former state minister, was admitted to the hospital for the last two weeks days and died due to old age-related ailments, family source said. He was being treated for stones in the gall bladder and recently underwent a surgery. Deshmukh served as a minister in the government of Sharad Pawar in 1978 and again in 1999 when his party PWP gave support to the Congress-NCP alliance. His last rites will be performed in Sangola.
Deshmukh alsorepresented Sangola in Solapur district in the state legislative assembly for 11 terms since 1962 across multiple terms and served as an MLA for 54 years. He got defeated in 1972, but again won in a by-poll n 1974.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari condoled the death of Deshmukh and paid rich tributes to him. "Deshmukh carved out a niche for himself in public life. He not only represented his constituency for the longest period in the state assembly and consistently, but he will be remembered for his simple living and high intellect," the CM said.