Former Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh passes away

CHENNAI: Union minister and former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh passed away today. He was 67.

Deshmukh died in a Chennai hospital and had been suffering from a liver disorder for several weeks.

Vilasrao Deshmukh: From sarpanch to chief minister

Deshmukh passed away around 2 p.m., sources at the Global Hospital said. Deshmukh was awaiting liver and kidney transplants. His family members, including his three sons, were by his side when he breathed his last.

On Monday, a person was declared brain dead, giving hope that Deshmukh may survive. Doctors were ready to harvest the organs when Deshmukh's condition deteriorated.

Deshmukh was undergoing treatment at Breach Candy hospital in Mumbai, where he was admitted a week ago. He was suffering from cirrhosis of liver and his two kidneys dysfunctional.

When his condition deteriorated further, he was put on life support systems and it was then decided to shift him to Chennai in an air ambulance.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday condoled the death of "trusted colleague" Vilasrao Deshmukh, who passed away after prolonged illness at a Chennai hospital.

"He was a trusted colleague and an able administrator who worked at panchayat, state and central levels with admirable dedication," he said in a statement.

Both houses of parliament were adjourned Tuesday as soon as news came in of the death of union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

In the Rajya Sabha, the announcement of Deshmukh's passing away was made by Nationslist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar, who was in the chair. The house was discussing the whistleblowers protection bill when the announcement was made.

The Lok Sabha was discussing the issue of Maoist violence when the announcement was made by Congress member P.C. Chacko, who was in the chair at the time.

The body of the union minister would be brought to Latur, near Babhalgaon, about 480 km from here, Wednesday morning. It would be kept at his residence in Babhalgaon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for people to pay their last respects, sources said.

The funeral procession will begin at 3 p.m. and the last rites will take place at 4 p.m.

Deshmukh was chief minister of Maharashtra twice and resigned after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He was later appointed minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences in the union cabinet.

The politician is survived by his wife and three sons, including actor Riteish Deshmukh.

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