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Bhaiyyu Maharaj death: Political leaders cutting across party lines express shock

Bhaiyyu Maharaj’s followers include Nitin Gadkari, Uddhav Thackeray, Pankaja Munde, Sunil Tatkare, former president Pratibha Patil, and many others.

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2018 11:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
A file photo of self-styled spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj, who allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday in Indore by shooting himself.
A file photo of self-styled spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj, who allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday in Indore by shooting himself.(PTI )

Political leaders cutting across party lines expressed shock and pain at the news that self-styled guru Bhaiyyu Maharaj committed suicide in Indore on Tuesday afternoon.

Maharaj, originally Uday Singh Deshmukh, counted some of the country’s top politicians across parties and celebrities among his followers. Deshmukh was popular with high-profile political leaders from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

His followers include Nitin Gadkari, Uddhav Thackeray , Pankaja Munde, Sunil Tatkare, former president Pratibha Patil, and many others.

Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari expressed his sorrow over Maharaj’s demise and said, “I got to know about the death of spiritual guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. I had a personal relationship with him. His untimely death is saddening.”

Also Read: Bhaiyyu Maharaj’s journey from textile model to Rolex-sporting spiritual leader

Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that Maharaj “motivated” people to do good deeds. “A lot of politicians met him regularly. He visited Maharashtra and was involved in a lot of social work for the people of this state. He was a spiritual person who motivated people to do good,” Chavan said.

Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sunil Tatkare, who was a follower of Bhaiyyu Maharaj, said he was “shocked to hear the news”. “I was his follower for over 15 years. It is really shocking to know that he is no more among us. It is a personal loss,” Tatkare said, adding that he had looked to the spiritual guru for advice on many occasions.

Members of the Thackeray family are also known to be close to Maharaj. In Shiv Sena circles it was known that the guru had been consulted by the family regarding the funeral of founder Bal Thackeray in 2012. Party chief Uddav Thackeray’s son Aaditya expressed shock at the news and said that he “does not have words” to express himself. Later he tweeted: “Deeply pained and in complete shock to hear about Bhaiyyu Maharaj ji. May his soul rest in peace. Can’t believe the news still.”

Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil hailed Bhaiyyu Maharaj for carrying forward the legacy of spirituality in Maharashtra.