Senior BJP MP from Maharashtra Chintaman Wanaga died in New Delhi today, said doctors at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. He was 67. The presentation of the Union Budget on February 1 is unlikely to be affected by Wanaga’s death, sources in the parliamentary affairs ministry said. An obituary reference would be read out by the speaker on February 1 when the House meets. There are no sittings of Parliament today and tomorrow. Last year, the government went ahead with the budget presentation despite the demise of IUML leader E Ahamed, who had collapsed during the president’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses. The House did not meet the next day as a mark of respect. Wanaga, a three-time MP, was brought dead to the hospital around 11.15 am after collapsing in his Ferozeshah Road residence in the national capital. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. His body will be taken to his village in Kawad in Talasari where the last rites will be performed tomorrow noon, family sources said. “He was brought to RML hospital around 11.15 am. We tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes but he could not be revived. He was declared brought dead at around 11.45 am,” the hospital’s medical superintendent Dr V K Tiwary told PTI.
The cause of the death is being investigated, sources added. Wanaga, who was born on June 1, 1950, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Palghar in Maharashtra. He was a member of the 11th and the 13th Lok Sabha as well. An advocate by profession, he was the Thane district president of the BJP from 1990 to 1996. He was a member of the parliamentary standing committee on rural development and the committee on welfare of SCs and STs. In his early days, Wanaga stayed in the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra at Talsari. He was closely associated with right-wing leader Madhavrao Kane and studied law in a college in Bhiwandi. In 1996, he was elected to the Lok Sabha as an MP from the Dahanu (ST) constituency and re-elected in 1999. In 2009, he was elected MLA from the Vikramgadh Assembly constituency.
Wanaga fought for the formation of a separate Palghar district, which came into existence on August 1, 2014. He had also vigorously taken up the issue of Dahanu Nashik railway link, but it is yet see light of day. Condoling his death, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said Wanaga was a very good functionary of the party and did a good job in the tribal belt of Thane district. “He took whatever role the party gave him and worked for the party even during hostile conditions. His demise is very sad and unfortunate…my condolences on behalf of the party and the government,” he said. He added that Wanaga had appeared unwell the past few days.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, expressed grief over the senior leader’s death. “Shocked and saddened to know about the sudden demise of our MP from Palghar Shri Chintaman Vanga ji who was known for his simplicity,” Fadnavis tweeted. Several other leaders, including Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde and MP Supriya Sule, also condoled his demise.