Gujarat Speaker passes away

via PNS | Ahmedabad published on September 30, 2010

Gujarat Legislative Assembly Speaker and top BJP leader Ashok Bhatt passed away late on Wednesday night at a city hospital. The 71-year-old leader is survived by his wife, three sons and one daughter. He was the longest serving MLA in Gujarat, having been elected from Khadia city seat since 1975.

He was admitted in hospital for over a month with heart and kidney ailments that required artificial support systems. Bhatt’s condition deteriorated on Wednesday morning.

Starting with Food Minister in the Janata Dal-BJP coalition Government in 1990, he held important portfolios like Revenue, Labour and Health in all the BJP Ministries since 1995. Bhatt became the Speaker after the BJP’s thumping victory in December 2007.

Paying tributes to Bhatt, Chief Minister Narendra Modi described him as a firebrand leader who had relentlessly fought for the rights of the common man for more than five decades. The Gujarat Government has declared a two-day mourning. Government offices in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar remained closed on Thursday as a mark of respect to him.

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