Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader R R Patil, who was Maharashtra's home minister during the 26/11 terror attacks, died in Mumbai on Monday from cancer at the age of 57.
Patil breathed his last at LilavatiHospital where he was on life support, hospital sources said. The NCP leader, a six-term member of Legislative Assembly from Tasgaon in Sangli district, is survived by his mother, wife, and two daughters.
Admired for his clean image and easy accessibility, Patil was among the top rung leaders of the NCP.
His mortal remains will be kept at state NCP headquarters at Nariman Point for two hours from 6 pm for people to pay their last respects, party sources said.
The last rites of the departed leader will be performed at his native Anjani village at 1 pm on Tuesday, they said. Patil had undergone a surgery for oral cancer at Breach Candy Hospital last December.
Fondly called 'Aaba' in political circles, he was considered very close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Patil was elected to the legislative assembly for the first time in 1990 and appointed rural development minister in the Congress-NCP government in 1999.
He was allotted the important home portfolio in 2003 after the then Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who held it, resigned in the wake of allegations of his involvement in the Telgi scam. He was made deputy chief minister in 2004.
He had to step down as home minister after his remarks made in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks that ‘small incidents do happen in big cities’ triggered an outrage.
Patil was appointed home minister for a second time in 2009 after the Congress-NCP combine retained power in the state.
He was also the man behind the controversial decision to ban dance bars in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.
Image: R R Patil has been undergoing treatment for oral cancer