Ramesh Wanjale, 46, MLA and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader from Pune, died of a heart attack on Friday evening, doctors treating him said.
Known in political circles as the ‘golden’ man, Wanjale could be found wearing gold jewellery, of up to 2.5kg at any given time.
MNS group leader in the civic body Ravindra Dhangekar said Wanjale suffered a heart attack in the afternoon, and was initially admitted to a private hospital, but later taken to Jehangir Hospital.
Doctors at Jehangir hospital said Wanjale was brought dead to hospital around 8.30pm.
“When Wanjale was brought here, he had no pulse. We tried to artificially resuscitate him, in vain,” said Prasad Muglikar, director (medical services), Jehangir Hospital. Doctors officially declared him dead at 9.50 pm.
As news of Wanjale’s death spread, MNS workers from the city flocked to the hospital. MNS chief Raj Thackeray and other leaders too left for Pune. According to MNS sources, Wanjale’s last rites will be performed on Saturday.
A farmer by birth and wrestler by profession, Wanjale started his political career from a zilla parishad as a Congress member.
Wanjale shot to fame during the 2009 state assembly elections where he contested on an MNS ticket from Khadakwasla constituency in Pune.
His fascination for gold jewellery made him the subject of criticism from the Opposition.
However, Wanjale did not relent even after he was ordered to remove the jewellery by his party leader Raj Thackeray following his election as MLA.
Wanjale was known for his oratorical skills and often quoted his favourite saint, Sant Tukaram during his speeches.