NCP leader and former Maharashtra home minister Raosaheb Ramrao Patil died on the afternoon of February 16 at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital. He was 57. Patil's condition had been critical following surgery for oral cancer. He had been undergoing chemotherapy and was on life support following multiple organ failure. In December, Patil also suffered a cardiac arrest and underwent an angiography at the city's Bombay Hospital.
Popularly known as Aaba, Patil was born in 1957 in Anjani, a village in Sangli district of Maharashtra. A grassroots leader who started his career at the Zilla Parishad level, he rose to become the chief of the Nationalist Congress Party's Maharashtra unit and served as the Home Minister from October 2009 to September 2014. He was the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra from December 2003 to December 2008. His controversial remarks following the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11 (November 2008), the gravity of which he reportedly downplayed at a press conference by saying "(the terrorists) came to kill 5,000 people but we ensured minimal damage", caused his exit from government. He was forced to resign.
Though widely regarded as an honest and sincere politician, Patil was also at the centre of a contentious decision to ban Mumbai's dance bars. In October he was in the eye of a storm again over his remarks at an election rally in Sangli, where he remarked about a rape-accused MLA contesting the polls that he should have committed rape after the elections were over. He later apologised for his remark.
Hospitalised in January following a hard battle with oral cancer, Patil was taken off life support in January but his condition worsened suddenly and he passed away on February 16.
Five controversies of NCP leader RR Patil http://t.co/CUKY80gSi3— Zee News (@ZeeNews) February 16, 2015
Saddened by untimely demise of Shri RR Patil.He rose from ground to become a State leader. He always spoke his heart out.My condolences. RIP— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) February 16, 2015
A true man of politics has left us today, it is a setback for entire Maharashtra: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on RR Patil’s demise— ANI (@ANI_news) February 16, 2015
He will be given a state funeral; I will be present: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on NCP leader RR Patil’s demise pic.twitter.com/Yvs32TeHgi— ANI (@ANI_news) February 16, 2015
Really sad to hear about the untimely demise of Shri RR Patil ji, one of the tallest leaders of Maharashtra. Deepest condolences.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) February 16, 2015
As Maha's Home Minister, I recall RR Patil's valuable help when I wanted to upgrade living conditions of Mumbai Police. A simple man. RIP— Milind Deora (@milinddeora) February 16, 2015
My thoughts are with Shri RR Patil's family.Am saddened to know of his demise, which leaves a void in Maharashtra politics: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 16, 2015
Anna Hazare breaks down on hearing about RR Patil's demise, to visit Sangli for the last rites.NEWS FLASH— HeadlinesToday (@HeadlinesToday) February 16, 2015
My condolences to the family of NCP leader Shri RR Patil on his untimely demise. sad news.— Shahnawaz Hussain (@ShahnawazBJP) February 16, 2015
I hugely disagreed with him on most things. But it's sad to see him go. @firstpost Former Maharashtra home minister RR Patil passes away.— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) February 16, 2015
Former Maharashtra home minister RR Patil dies of complications arising from cancer. He was being treated at Lilavati Hospital. @mid_day— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) February 16, 2015
My condolences and prayers for the departed soul of Shri RR Patil ji (former Home Minister of Maharashtra) @MahaBJP— Amit Shah (@AmitShahOffice) February 16, 2015
RR Patil; a much loved grassroots leader who never quite made the transition to being home minister of M'tra. Mumbai was not Sangli. RIP— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) February 16, 2015