Mumbai, July 22 (IANS): Senior Congress leader, freedom fighter and former Minister Shivajirao Girdhar Patil, popular in political circles as ‘Dadasaheb’ died at a private hospital here on Saturday, an official said. He was 92.
A widower, Patil’s wife had died in 2015 after 77 years of marriage. He is survived by two daughters Anita Deshmukh and Manya Seth.
Patil was better known as the father of late National Award winning actress, Smita Patil – who died in 1986, and the grandfather of Bollywood actor Pratiek Babbar.
Plunging into politics in his teens, the young and firebrand Patil was attracted to Communism in his school days. At the tender age of 15, he was elected president of the CPI’s student wing, All India Students Federation (AISF) in 1939.
Through the AISF and the CPI, he took part in several agitations during the struggle for Independence and was incarcerated for 12 years for various subversive activities.
Later, after Independence he switched over to the Congress and was elected thrice to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, to the Maharashtra Legislative Council and served one term in the Rajya Sabha from 1992-1998.
He handled various ministries during the tenures of chief ministers Vasantrao Naik, S.B. Chavan and Vasantrao Patil in the 1950s-1970s. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2013 for services to the cooperative movement in Maharashtra.