Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Murli Deora, 77 passed away early morning on Monday after a prolonged illness. The veteran leader died at 3:25am. He is survived by his wife and two son sons including former Congress MP and minister Milind Deora.
He had reportedly been discharged from the Breach Candy hospital two days ago.
Deora, known to be close to the Gandhi family, in his last political stint was the Union petroleum minister in the UPA government. Towards the end of this stint his health deteriorated but he continued to be a sitting member of the Rajya Sabha. His nearly four decade long political career started with contesting civic polls in 1975. For the longest time, Deora was the face of Congress in Mumbai, heading the city party unit for 22 years.
Known to be party’s strong organisational and resources man, Deora was an old school politician, known to keep good relations across party lines. He served as the mayor of the city from 1977 to 1978 and was later elected to Lok Sabha for four times from South Mumbai. Later, this seat was passed on to his son Milind, who was elected from this constitutency twice in 2004 and 2009, losing in the recent 2014 polls.
"A dedicated leader, Shri Murli Deora’s warm nature made him popular across party lines. News of his demise is saddening. My deepest condolences to Milind Deora and his family," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"One of the most amiable persons I knew. He had friends across Party Line. We shall forever miss him. Our condolences to the family," tweeted senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Deora’s mortal remains will be kept at the Mumbai Congress office, where party workers can pay their respects from 12pm to 2pm. His last rites will be performed at the Chandanwadi crematorium. All senior state leaders as well as party’s central leadership is expected to attend the funeral.