Vilasrao Deshmukh's funeral today

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 15, 2012 11:04 hrs

The funeral of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who died on Tuesday of multiple organ failure is expected to be held at his village in Latur district of Maharashtra on Wednesday evening.

Deshmukh, who was the Union Minister of Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences, breathed his last in a Chennai hospital. He was 67.

Deshmukh´s body was brought to Latur, his home district, by a special flight on Wednesday morning, a Congress party official said.

A huge crowd waited outside the airport as family members, associates and friends of the Congress leader accompanied his body from Latur airport to Dayanand School in the city.

The body will be kept there till 2 pm to allow people to pay their last respects and then will be taken to Babhalgaon village where it will be kept for an hour at his ancestral home.

Deshmukh´s last rites will be conducted after 4 p.m. with full state honours and his party workers expect over half a million people to join the funeral in the evening.

Among those expected to attend his funeral are Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and other central and state ministers.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and other opposition leaders will also be present.

Deshmukh was suffering from a serious liver ailment and failure of multiple organs and the end came at 1-40 pm on Tuesday.

The Congress leader was flown to Chennai by a special flight from Mumbai and was admitted in Global Health City hospital on August 6 after his health conditions deteriorated. He was to undergo a liver transplant in the hospital with delay in finding a donor his condition had deteriorated further.

Deshmukh was admitted in Mumbai´s Breach Candy Hospital a week ago but was later shifted to the Chennai hospital.

According to the hospital doctor, their attempted to gather liver from a brain dead donor failed on Monday night after the man passed away before the operation from cardiac failure.

Chairman of Chennai´s Global Hospitals Dr K Ravindranath said Deshmukh had some chances of survival if there was a donor at the right time.

Deshmukh is survived by his wife Vaishali and three sons, including his more famous Bollywood actor son Riteish Deshmukh. His other two sons are Amit Deshmukh, an MLA from Latur city, and Dheeraj.

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