The last rites of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh were performed here on Thursday, with his ashes being immersed in holy ponds in several districts of the state and other places here.
Interacting with mediapersons here, the president of the state unit of Congress party, Manikrao Thakre, said, "The locals of Maharashtra failed to pay homage to the departed soul. They had requested that Vilasrao Deshmukh's ashes should be brought to all the districts, and so, we requested the family members, and they had agreed. All the party workers have submerged the ashes into the holy water at several places."
Thakre termed Deshmukh's death a major setback for the Congress party and for the entire state.
"Vilasrao Deshmukh's death is a shock not only for the Congress but the entire state. We have suffered a major loss and we will have to work on his guidelines and we will continue to work on his ideas," he added.
Born in Babhalgaon, Deshmukh started his political career at the Panchayat level, and became its chief from 1974 to 1976.
After working for Congress' youth wing for few years, he entered state politics and won successive state assembly elections over the next decade, staying undefeated until 1995.
Prior to his death, he was Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.
Deshmukh (67) died in a Chennai hospital, where he was shifted from Mumbai earlier in August for a possible liver transplant.
He is survived by his wife and three sons, including Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh. (ANI)