Former Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil dead


balasahebAhmednagar (Maharashtra): Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil passed away at his home following a long illness. He was 84.

Vikhe-Patil is survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons, including Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil.

Ailing since sometime, he breathed his last at his home in Loni-Pravara on Friday evening.

Considered a pillar of the cooperatives movement in the state and credited with launching Asia’s first sugar cooperative factory in Loni, Vikhe-Patil had been elected member of parliament eight times from Ahmednagar.

Leaving the Congress to join the Shiv Sena briefly, he served as Minister of State for Finance and later as Minister for Heavy Industries in then Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee’s government.