A powerful figure in Gujarat's co-operative sector with a strong base among farmers of Saurashtra, Radadiya represented Dhoraji Assembly constituency five times since 1993.
Vitthal Radadiya, one of Saurashtra’s most prominent politicians and former Member of Parliament from Porbandar in Gujarat, died at his residence in Ahmedabad on Monday morning. He was 61 and had been unwell since the last one year. His mortal remains will be kept at a hostel at Jamkhandorna in Rajkot district on Tuesday between 7 am and 12 noon for people to pay last respects, said his son and Gujarat Tourism minister Jayesh Radadiya.
“The final journey will commence at 1 pm on Tuesday from his residence till Patel Chowk at Jamkhandorna,” Radadiya informed on Twitter. “Saddened to hear about the demise of former Porbandar MP Vitthalbhai Radadiya. Gujarat has lost a powerful farmer leader. He will always be remembered for his contribution in the field of cooperative, education, and political sphere. May God give strength to the family members to bear the loss,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
“Saddened by the demise of senior BJP leader Shri Vitthalbhai Radadiya. I express my deepest condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani tweeted.
A powerful figure in Gujarat’s co-operative sector with a strong base among farmers of Saurashtra, Radadiya represented Dhoraji Assembly constituency five times since 1993. He played the role of mediator between the state BJP government and the Patidar community agitating for quota. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Porbandar in 2009 on a Congress ticket, before joining the BJP in 2013, and then getting re-elected from the seat in a bypoll.
Radadiya went on to retain the seat in the 2014 general elections. Radadiya also served as a director of IFFCO and was the chairman of the Rajkot District Co-operative Bank. He was at the centre of a controversy in 2012 when he was caught brandishing a gun at a toll plaza in Karzan in Vadodara district after being asked to show his identity card.