November 28, 2020 1:13:35 pm
A sitting legislator from Maharashtra passed away on Saturday morning while undergoing treatment for post complications.
Nationalist Congress Party’s MLA Bharat Bhalke, 60, a three-term MLA from Pandharpur-Mangalvedha constituency in Solapur tested positive for on October 30 and had returned home after recovery.
However, following complaints of recurrent fever and a cough, he was readmitted to a Pune-based private hospital on November 9, where he was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome. After his condition worsened, he was put on ventilator support.
On Friday evening, NCP president Sharad Pawar visited the private hospital to inquire about his health.
Bhalke’s last rites were performed in the family’s native Sarkoli village in Pandharpur. He is survived by his wife, son, three daughters and grandchildren.
Expressing shock at his untimely demise, Pawar said the “Pandharpur taluka had lost an efficient and a people friendly leader.”
A former wrestler, Bhalke had first won the Assembly elections in 2009 as a Left front nominee, defeating NCP’s former deputy chief minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil.
In 2014, when the Congress and the NCP contested independently, he joined the Congress camp just before the polls, going on to retain his seat as Congress’s official nominee. In 2019, he hopped onto the NCP camp to script a hattrick on wins. While contesting as an alliance, both NCP and the Congress had fielded candidates in Pandharpur. Bhalke had defeated five-time MLA Sudhakar Paricharak who was contesting on a BJP ticket. In August, Paricharak, 85, had also died after suffering from post Covid complications
In 2018, Bhalke, then with the Congress, had adopted an aggressive stance over the demand for reservations to the Maratha community, resigning from his membership of the legislative assembly.
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