Former Maharashtra CM Manohar Joshi dies at 86 | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Manohar Joshi, former Maharashtra chief minister, dies at 86

Feb 23, 2024 12:06 PM IST

Manohar Joshi suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday. His health had been fragile since May 2023 when he suffered brain haemorrhage.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi passed away at around 3 am on Friday due to age-related health complications. He was 86.

Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi at Kohinoor Office, Dadar, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday day, Dec 02, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi at Kohinoor Office, Dadar, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday day, Dec 02, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

P D Hinduja Hospital chief operating officer Joy Chakravarty confirmed the news.

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Speaking to Hindustan Times, his son Unmesh said, “He had been admitted to the ICU and was under observation. He had cardiac trouble on Wednesday. He had prolonged age-related health issues. We will be performing last rites at Shivaji Park crematorium and before this, the mortal remains will be brought to our house in Matunga.”

Joshi’s health has been fragile since May 2023 when he suffered brain haemorrhage. It led him into the ICU in Hinduja Hospital where he lay in a semi-conscious state for a couple of days. As the doctors saw little hope of recovery, he was asked to retreat to his Shivaji Park home, where he was under care.

On December 2, when Joshi turned 86, he was brought to his office at Dadar where his supporters celebrated his birthday.

Born on December 2, 1937, in Mahad, Maharashtra, Joshi obtained his Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the prestigious Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) in Mumbai.

Joshi's political career began with his involvement in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and later became a member of the Shiv Sena. In the 1980s, Joshi emerged as a key leader within the Shiv Sena, known for his organisational skills and grassroots connect.

Manohar Joshi's most significant political milestone came in 1995 when he was appointed as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He succeeded Sharad Pawar of the Indian National Congress, marking the first time the Shiv Sena had assumed power in the state. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament and was the Lok Sabha Speaker from 2002 to 2004 when the Vajpayee government was in power.

Manohar Joshi was a multifaceted personality, known for his managerial and organizational skills, acumen, and ability to overcome challenges within the Shiv Sena, where personal loyalty to founder Bal Thackeray mattered the most.

Joshi had risen from absolute poverty in Nandvi village of Raigad district of Konkan.

Growing up, Joshi's determination was evident as he balanced studies with meals often sourced from neighbours in Nandvi village. Joshi used to say that if he turned up late for dinner, neighbours complained and at times, refused him food. His punctuality, instilled by the necessity to arrive on time for meals, remained a hallmark of his life.

Joshi's journey

Joining Shiv Sena after its formation in 1966, Joshi played a pivotal role alongside Bal Thackeray in expanding the party across the state. At times, Thackeray used to travel together for days. His establishment of the Kohinoor Technical Institute, focusing on skill development, earned him the moniker "Sir" from students and staff, and later all Shiv Sainiks referred to him by the same name.

The Shiv Sena’s struggle for Marathi manooos began with the fight for job opportunities. Joshi believed they must also get jobs as skilled labour and his institute played a great role.

Joshi’s party colleague Diwakar Raote said “He contested the first elections of BMC polls in 1986 and three corporators of Sena won. He became a mayor in 1976 and was also a standing committee chairperson prior to that. He moved to the state politics in 1980s.”

His close association with Mumbai city and his grasp of various development issues helped him forcefully champion the cause of Mumbai in the years ahead after he became a member of the state legislature. Joshi became the CM in 1995 when the coalition of Shiv Sena and BJP came to power in Maharashtra.

The slum rehabilitation scheme with FSI benefits and saleable components – a brainchild of the Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was implemented by Joshi.

BJP national general secretary Vinod Tawde remembers, “The ties between Shiv Sena and BJP were cemented because of great understanding between Manohar Joshi and Pramod Mahajan. When our alliance came to power, it was decided to make Sudhir Joshi as CM, but hours later, the alliance decided to make Manohar Joshi (his uncle) as CM. On many occasions where there were rifts between the two parties, they pacified Balasaheb Thackeray and solved problems.”

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