Sangli (Maharashtra), February 17: Lakhs of people bade a tearful farewell to former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Raosaheb Ramrao Patil in his tive Anjani village here on Tuesday. Patil, 57, a former state home minister, passed away Monday evening after a battle with oral cancer. He was on Tuesday cremated with full state honours, including a 21-gun salute. The state government earlier declared Tuesday as a period of official mourning. He was the state home minister during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. R.R.Patil is survived by his mother Bhagirathi, wife Suman, three children — Smita, Supriya and Rohit. The three children jointly lit the funeral pyre. As per Patil’s desire, there will be no post-funeral ceremonies or events, marking a departure from tradition.
Thousands of people lined both sides of the six kilometre route, from the airport to a venue where the body was kept for the fil ‘audience’ by residents. The solemn atmosphere was awash with cries of ‘Aaba Amar Rahe’ (Long live Aaba), with many people beating their chests to express their deep sense of sorrow at the passing away of the leader, locally known as ‘Aaba’. The last rites were performed by his teeged son Rohit in an open ground in Anjani where Patil was born, grew up, harboured his political roots and was later elected six times to the Maharashtra legislature.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadvis, veteran crusader An Hazare, tiol Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar and other party leaders like Sunil Tatkare, Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, wab Malik, Jitendra Awhad and Dilip Walse-Patil were present. Senior Congress leaders rayan Rane, Prithviraj Chavan, Ashok Chavan, Sushilkumar Shinde, Patangrao Kadam, retired IPS officer-turned-politician Vikram Bokey also attended the funeral. Top BJP leaders like Raosaheb Danve and several current cabinet ministers, parliamentarians and legislators, and party activists attended the funeral in large numbers. (IANS)