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Patangrao Kadam cremated with full state honours near Pune

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and half of his cabinet colleagues including revenue minister Chandrakant Patil and rural development minister Pankaja Munde were also present on the occasion.

pune Updated: Mar 11, 2018 14:57 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times,Pune
Pune,Maharashtra,Patangrao Kadam
Vishwajeet Kadam, son of Late Patangrao Kadam and Maharastra State Youth Congress president during funeral at village Vangi in Sangli. (Uday Deolekar/Hindustan Times )

Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Patangrao Kadam, 73, was a self-made man, who made it big in politics by virtue of being an educationist.

On Saturday, the mortal remains of Kadam, who died on Friday due to renal dysfunction at Lilavati hospital in Mumbai, were consigned to flames amid full state honours in the premises of Sonhira Cooperative Sugar Factory at Wangi village in Sangli district.

Earlier in the day, his mortal remains were brought to Pune for his followers to pay their last respects and were later taken to his native place in Sangli district where Kadam was cremated in the presence of his followers, family members and political leaders.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and half of his cabinet colleagues including revenue minister Chandrakant Patil and rural development minister Pankaja Munde were also present on the occasion.

Kadam represented Bhilawadi assembly constituency seven times and also served as a cabinet minister, but he earned reputation for the educational institute Bharati Vidyapeeth which he founded at the age of 19. The institution established in 1964 at Dhankawadi area of Pune now has several campuses in Maharashtra and Delhi.

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

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

Kadam is survived by wife Vijaymala, son and politician Vishwajeet, daughter Asmita Jagtap and four brothers, including legislator Mohanrao. It was Vishwajeet, who is the president of state youth Congress, who performed the last rites and lit the funeral pyre.

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

His dream of becoming the chief minister, however, remained unfulfilled. “He had often come close to becoming the chief minister of Maharashtra. But his rustic background came in the way of him getting the top job,” said 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 Congress party. My love and support to his family in this hour of grief.”

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 14:56 IST