Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Murli Deora passed away here this morning after prolonged illness.
He was 77 and is survived by his wife and two sons, including former MP Milind Deora.
Murli bhai as he was known as died at around 3.25 a.m. He had been unwell and admitted to a hospital. He had come home two days back, family sources said.
Mr. Deora’s mortal remains would be kept at the Mumbai Congress office, where party workers would pay their last respects from 12 noon to 2 p.m. His last rites would be performed at Chandanwadi Crematorium later in the day, the family sources said.
Mr. Deora, who held several important portfolios during his decades-long career, first contested the civic elections in Mumbai in 1975.
An economics graduate, Mr. Deora was Mayor of Mumbai from 1977 to 1978 and was later elected to the Lok Sabha four times from Mumbai South, a seat later held by his son, Milind, who is also a former MP and ex Union minister. Currently, he was serving his third term as a Rajya Sabha MP.
He held the portfolio of Petroleum and Natural Gas during the UPA—1 regime. The Congress veteran had also served as the Mumbai Congress President for 22 years.
He joined the Union Cabinet in 2006, shortly before he turned 70 and led oil diplomacy in Myanmar, Algeria and Egypt, and held talks with ministers from Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Comoros.
Deora also hosted the first India—Africa Hydrocarbon Conference and Exhibition in November 2007. In July 2011, Deora became Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology.
PM condoles death
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Mr Deora and said his warm nature made him popular across party lines.“Just yesterday I had spoken to Shri Murli Deora’s family & asked about his health. Very sad to hear the unfortunate news today,” he said on Twitter. “My deepest condolences to the Deora family on Shri Murli Deora’s demise. May his soul rest in peace.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the country has lost a veteran Parliamentarian. “I am deeply saddened by the demise of Murli Deora. We have lost a veteran Parliamentarian and an experienced administrator,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.