Sena leader Sarpotdar dead
Senior Shiv Sena leader, Madhukar Sarpotdar, passed away on Saturday after a brief illness.mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2010 01:03 IST
Senior Shiv Sena leader, Madhukar Sarpotdar, passed away on Saturday after a brief illness. He was 77.
The former Member of Parliament was admitted to Hinduja Hospital earlier this week after he complained of chest pain.
His last rites will take place on Sunday morning.
In 2008, the fiery leader was convicted to a year in prison for inciting communal violence through hate speeches during the 1992-1993 riots and possessing unlicenced weapons.
During the riots, the army had intercepted Sarpotdar’s jeep and found three handguns, two of which did not have licenses, choppers and sticks.
A sessions court later granted Sarpotdar bail.
Sarpotdar was elected to the Lok Sabha twice from the Mumbai North-West constituency, once represented by late actor-politician Sunil Dutt and now by his daughter, Priya.
Sainiks remembered him as a fierce orator, passionate leader and an influential union leader. Sarpotdar was closely associated with the Sena’s labour unions that helped the party gain popularity among the labour class.
“He handled public issues in the state legislature and the Lok Sabha with equal ease,” senior party leader and old-time Sainik, Dattaji Nalwade, said.
Sena legislator and Sarpotdar’s old time associate, Subhash Desai said: “He was a close associate of Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, and was with him since the party's early days. He served as the Sena’s representative in the state and at the Centre efficiently.”
Deputy Chief Minister and former Sainik, Chhagan Bhujbal, said he had lost “an old friend”.
“I had worked with him for a long time. He was a dynamic union leader,” said Bhujbal.
Sarpotdar’s son, Atul, and daughter-in-law, Shilpa, are with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena floated by Raj Thackeray, the Sena chief’s estranged nephew.