Ailing Pune BJP MP Girish Bapat passes away at 72; condolences pour in for grassroots leader
Bapat who had served as MLA five times from Kasba Peth constituency was admitted to the ICU of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and was on life support.
Published: 29th March 2023 04:11 PM | Last Updated: 29th March 2023 08:34 PM | A+A A-
PUNE; BJP Lok Sabha member from Pune Girish Bapat passed away at a hospital on Wednesday, party sources said.
He was ailing for the last one-and-a-half years.
The 72-year-old BJP leader was admitted to the ICU of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in critical condition and was on life support.
"Today is a sad day. BJP's senior leader and Pune Lok Sabha MP Girish Bapat has left us today. He passed away in a hospital. For the last one and half years, he was undergoing treatment," said Jagdish Mulik, BJP city unit president.
He said Bapat's last rites will be performed at Vaikunth crematorium on Wednesday evening.
Bapat had served as the MLA five times from the Kasba Peth constituency.
He was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019.
Bapat's last public appearance was on February 26 when he cast vote for the Kasba Peth Assembly bypoll sitting in a wheelchair with his nasal cannula on.
The Opposition then accused the BJP of playing with Bapat's health.
Despite his ill health, Bapat had addressed BJP workers briefly at Kesariwada.
The senior BJP leader enjoyed a good rapport with Opposition leaders as well and was looked upon as a mentor by many politicians from Pune district.
After winning the Kasba Peth bypoll, Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar visited Bapat's residence to seek his blessings.
पुणे लोकसभा मतदारसंघाचे खासदार गिरीश बापट यांच्या निधनाचे वृत्त अत्यंत दुःखद आहे. चार दशकांच्या प्रदीर्घ कारकीर्दीत गिरीश बापट यांनी नेहमीच सर्वसमावेशक भूमिका घेत राजकीय प्रवास केला. #GirishBapat pic.twitter.com/qkATwWyx46— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) March 29, 2023
BJP Rajya Sabha member and former Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who hails from Pune, said Maharashtra has lost an honest party worker in Bapat.
"I and Bapat were together since schooling days and today I am saddened after our companionship of 58 years ended today," he said.
Javadekar said Bapat rose through the ranks in public life. He had served as the head of the standing committee in Pune municipal corporation (PMC) and went on to become an MLA and an MP. "He always highlighted issues concerning Pune," he said.
Born on September 3, 1950, in Talegaon Dabhade in Pune district, Bapat worked with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in his initial years.
During the Emergency, he was lodged in Nashik jail for 19 months.
He became a corporator of PMC in 1983 and after 12 years he was elected as MLA from the Kasba Peth constituency.
He served as the Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection, Food and Drugs Administration, and Parliamentary Affairs in the then Maharashtra government headed by Devendra Fadnavis (2014-19).
NCP leader from Pune, Ankush Kakade, who is closely associated with Bapat, said the late MP enjoyed cordial relations across the party lines. "I, Bapat, and Congress leader Shantilal Suratwala were close friends for the last 30 to 40 years. I am saddened that our association for all these years has ended today. For the last several days, he was suffering from ailments and was undergoing dialysis at the hospital," he said.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis are likely to come to Pune to pay tributes to Bapat.
The mortal remains of Bapat will be kept at his residence in Shaniwar Peth between 2 pm and 6 pm.
"An all-inclusive, generous leadership is lost. While fighting the illness, Bapat worked towards giving energy to his party, and as an MLA, MP, and minister, he always took a lead to address the issues of the common people. He had friendships across the party lines and had a great people connect," CM Shinde said in his condolence message.
During his visit to Pune city last month, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Bapat at his home.
Condolences pour in:
President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday expressed condolence over the demise of parliamentarian Girish Bapat and said he was a grassroots leader who contributed to the development of Pune and Maharashtra. "Saddened to hear about the demise of Shri Girish Bapat, Member of Parliament from Pune. He was a grassroots leader who contributed to the development of Pune and Maharashtra and worked for well-being of the people. Condolences to his family and followers," Murmu tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter: "Shri Girish Bapat Ji was a humble and hardworking leader who served society diligently. He worked extensively for the development of Maharashtra and was particularly passionate about Pune's growth. His passing away is saddening. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti."
Shri Girish Bapat Ji was a humble and hardworking leader who served society diligently. He worked extensively for the development of Maharashtra and was particularly passionate about Pune's growth. His passing away is saddening. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti pic.twitter.com/17M0XpcwpF— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 29, 2023
The demise of Pune MP Girish Bapat is a big loss for Bharatiya Janata Party, Maharashtra unit president Chandrashekhar Bawankule said on Wednesday. "It is a big loss for the BJP as Bapat has left us forever. We used to learn a lot from him and his style of politics," Bawankule said.
Senior BJP leader and Maharashtra cabinet minister Chandrakant Patil said Bapat was like a guru and a father figure. "It is like losing a father figure from your life. His friendship across the party lines and contacts with people and party workers were unparallel. He was dedicated to the party and its growth. His demise is a huge loss to the party," Patil said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the news of Bapat's death was extremely saddening. He tweeted, "In his long political career of four decades, Bapat always took an all-inclusive stand".
Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar said Pune district has lost a leader who believed in taking everyone along. "In Bapat's death, a cultured face of politics has lost," he said in a statement.