Veteran trade union leader Sharad Rao passed away on Thursday evening following a prolonged sickness.
Rao was heading several influential unions that represented employees in the Mumbai and other civic bodies in Mumbai metropolitan region as well as the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) that runs public transport buses in Mumbai. He also headed the Mumbai Autorickshawsmen’s Union that represents majority of auto rickshaw drivers in the city and he had handed over the baton to his son Shashank Rao.
Once a trusted lieutenant of veteran socialist leader George Fernandes, Rao took over control of trade unions run by Fernandes after the latter moved to national politics. For the past two years, Rao was under treatment for cancer and his son Shashank was handling the affairs of the unions.