New Delhi: Indian Army on Wednesday paid homage to Vilasrao Deshmukh, a day after he passed away due to a liver disorder at a hospital in Chennai. Deshmukh died at the age of 67, after battling a liver disorder for several days.

His body was taken to Babhalgaon, his native village in Maharashtra's Latur District for the last rites where his supporters and well-wishers, including politicians, are expected to come. The Union Cabinet on Tuesday condoled the passing away of Deshmukh.

The Cabinet passed the following resolution: “The Cabinet has learnt with profound sorrow about the passing away of Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Cabinet Minister, today (14th August, 2012) at Chennai. The Cabinet condoles the untimely and sad demise of Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh."

Born on May 26, 1945, at Bhabhalgaon village in Latur District in Maharashtra, Deshmukh during his long political career worked in different capacities both in the State and the Centre. He was a Member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for a long time. He served as Minister of State and the Cabinet Minister in Maharashtra at different intervals. During this period, he handled important Departments including Home, General Administration, Revenue, Cooperation, Public Works, Transport, Legislative Affairs, Tourism, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Fisheries, Industry, Rural Development, Education, Technical Education, Sports and Youth Welfare.

He was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from October 1999 to January 2003 and again from November 2004 to November 2008.

Shri Deshmukh was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2009. He rendered distinguished service in the Union Council of Ministers and variously held important portfolios of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, the Ministry of Rural Development, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, the Ministry of Science & Technology, the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the Union Government.

Shri VIlasrao Deshmukh was a valued Member of the Union Cabinet. He was a grassroots political leader with extraordinary sensitivity to the people’s needs. He left an indelible mark in the Ministries he worked in with his commitment and able leadership.

Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh handled his public responsibilities with tact, politeness and grace. He was held in very high esteem across the political spectrum. In his death, the country has lost a popular leader.

The Cabinet places on record its appreciation of Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh’s services to the nation and deep sense of grief and loss at the passing away of Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh and extends its sincere condolences to the members of his family.”

The politician is survived by his wife and three sons, including a Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh.

(JPN/Agencies)

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