Political leaders cutting across party lines expressed shock and grief over the “untimely” death of spiritual guru Bhayyu Maharaj, who allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in Indore today. Union minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted that he learnt about the death of the spiritual guru, with whom he had a “personal relationship”. “His untimely death is saddening. My humble tributes,” Gadkari said in the tweet. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed similar sentiments and hailed the spiritual guru for the “huge work” he did for the deprived in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Fadnavis said farmers and tribals were at the centre of Bhayyu Maharaj’s activities. The CM said his work towards land reforms, water conservation, farmers (welfare) and education of children will always be remembered. “Tributes to him! Am part of mourning of his big family and followers,” Fadnavis said on Twitter. Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray also expressed “pain” over Bhayyu Maharaj’s demise. “May his soul rest in peace. Can’t believe the news still,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site. Lauding Bhayyu Maharaj for carrying forward the legacy of spirituality in Maharashtra, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said the news of his death was “shocking and unbelievable”.
The “untimely death” of Bhayyuji Maharaj, who was “ever smiling, enthusiastic and one giving energy is saddening”, the Congress leader said on Twitter. His party colleague and former state chief minister Prithviraj Chavan remembered the spiritual leader for his social and political work, which he said was aimed at helping the common people. “A lot of political people used to meet him. He was a spiritual person, who motivated people to do good. He visited Maharashtra frequently and met a lot of people and was also involved in social work here,” Chavan said in his condolence message.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik observed that the spiritual leader had taken part in several social works in Maharashtra and MP. “May his soul rest in peace,” Malik tweeted. The 50-year-old spiritual leader allegedly shot himself at his home in Indore, police said. Bhayyu Maharaj, whose original name was Uday Singh Deshmukh, was one of the five ‘saints’ to whom the Shivraj Singh government in Madhya Pradesh had granted Minister of State (MoS) rank in April. However, he had refused to accept it saying “a post holds no importance for a saint”.