CHENNAI: Union Minister for Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences Vilasrao Deshmukh died at a hospital here today due to complications arising out of liver and kidney failure. Deshmukh, who was 67 years old, is survived by his wife Vaishali and three sons.
The former MSME Minister was suffering from quite some time now and had been flown to Chennai for a liver transplant after he was diagnosed with kidney failure and hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). He was given additional charge of MSME Ministry after Virbhadra Singh resigned two months back. After he was admitted to a hospital, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi took charge of MSME Ministry.
The late Union Minister belonged to the Maratha community and was a science and arts graduate from Pune University. He joined politics by becoming a member of the Babhalgaon Village Panchayat between 1974-79 and later its sarpanch between 1974-76.
Moreover, he also served as the President of the Osmanabad District Youth Congress (1975-78).
Deshmukh became a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in 1980 and held on to that position till 1995, won the elections in 1980, 1985 and 1990.
In his tenure as Minister of State and as Cabinet Minister, Deshmukh was in charge of various departments, consisting Home, Public Works, Transport, Tourism, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development Fisheries, Industry, Rural Development, Education, Technical Education, Sports and Youth Welfare.
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day to pay tribute to the late Minister. The funeral will take place at his native place Babhalgaon.
While speaking on the demise of Deshmukh, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said, “Mr Deshmukh was a trusted colleague and an able administrator who worked at panchayat, state and central levels with admirable dedication.”