Gujarat Congress leader Sanat Mehta passes away

Veteran Congress leader and former Gujarat minister Sanat Mehta on Thursday died following multiple organ failure at a hospital here, family members said.

PTI| Updated: Aug 20, 2015, 22:37 PM IST

Vadodara: Veteran Congress leader and former Gujarat minister Sanat Mehta on Thursday died following multiple organ failure at a hospital here, family members said.

Mehta, 90, is survived by his son Sheetal and daughter Shyamli Shah.

"Former Gujarat Finance Minister and Lok Sabha Member Sanat Mehta passed away at 7 PM today due to multiple organ failure," his son-in-law Darshan Shah told PTI.

"He was in critical condition following a cardiac arrest yesterday and since then he was put on ventilator support at a city-based private hospital," Zahoor Ahmed, Mehta's personal secretary, told PTI.

Mehta's cremation will take place at Bahucharaji crematorium in Karelibaugh locality here at 8.30 AM tomorrow, Ahmed said.

Born on April 19, 1925 in Jesar village of Bhavnagar district to a teacher father, Mehta had a seven-decade long political career in the state, which began with the freedom struggle of 1942.

Post-independence, Mehta, influenced with the ideology of socialism, had joined movements of Ram Manhohar Lohiya and Jayprakash Narayan.

He entered into electoral politics in 1958 when he was for the first time elected as councillor of Vadodara Municipal Corporation.

In 1972, he was elected to the Gujarat Assembly and was the state labour minister.

In 1980, he served as the finance minister in the then Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki-led state government.

The Congress leader was also the chairman of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd in the early 90s.

He was elected to Lok Sabha from Surendranagar constituency in 1996.

Mehta was associated with several organisation working for the welfare of downtrodden communities including labour class, Dalits and tribal.

He had also set up Gramin Vikas Bank in the state on the model of 'Grameen Bank' of Bangladesh which lends money to weaker sections of the society including street-hawkers and vegetable vendors.

Mehta had also taken part in the farmer's movement of Bhavnagar against Nirma's proposed cement plant in Mahuva village in 2011.