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Congress leader Patangrao Kadam: An educationist who made it big in politics

He founded Bharati Vidyapeeth at the age of 19. Today the institute has several campuses in Maharashtra and Delhi.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2018 14:44 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
Bharati Vidyapeeth,Patangrap Kadam,Congress leader
Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Patangrao Kadam died at a private hospital in Mumbai on Friday following multiple-organ failure. He was 73. (Uday Deolekar/File Photo)

Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Patangrao Kadam was a self-made man, who made it big in politics by virtue of being an educationist.

Kadam died at a private hospital in Mumbai on Friday following multiple-organ failure. He was 73.

His mortal remains was brought to Pune on Saturday for his followers to pay their last respects. Later in the day, the mortal remains will be taken to his native place in Sangli district where final rites will be performed at Sonhira sugar factory.

Kadam represented Bhilawaddi assembly constituency seven times and also served as a cabinet minister, but he was more known for the educational institute Bharati Vidyapeeth he founded at the age of 19.

He was a forest minister in the Congress government during 2009-14.

The institution established in 1964 at Dhankawadi area of Pune has now several campuses in Maharashtra and Delhi.

“Coming from a small village in Sangli district, Kadam created a big educational institution. There are around four lakh people taking education in his Bharati Vidyapeeth,” said Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar in his condolence message.

Kadam is survived by wife Vijaymala, politician son Vishwajeet, daughter Asmita Jagtap and four brothers, including legislator Mohanrao.

Former President Pratibha Patil, BJP MP Anil Shirole and leaders of different political parties visited his residence near Bhrihan Maharashtra College of Commerce to pay their last respects to the Congress leader.

Hailing from Sonsal village, Kadam came to Pune to complete his graduation. Later he started working as a teacher at Rayat Shikshan Sanstha in Hadapsar. After a few months, Kadam established his own educational institute.

Kadam completed his doctoral degree in management from Pune University .

“Kadam’s journey in politics and educational field was terrific. Without any influential background, he created such a big institute and reached highest position in politics,” recalled Dr Kumar Saptrishi, a political observer.

His dream of becoming chief minister, however, remained unfulfilled. “He had often come close to become chief minister of Maharashtra. But his rustic background, came in the way of him getting the top job,” observed Saptrishi.

While the top post eluded him, he was highly respected as a senior leader by his party colleagues. On Thursday, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited him at Lilavati hospital.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in his condolence message said: “My deepest condolences on the unfortunate demise of senior Congress leader and educationist Patangrao Kadam ji. This is an irreparable loss to the Congress party. My love and support to his family in this hour of grief.”

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 12:12 IST