New Delhi: As soon as the news of Union Minister of Science and Technology, Vilasrao Deshmukh's demise came, both the houses of parliament were adjourned till Thursday.
In the Rajya Sabha, the announcement of Deshmukh's passing away was made by Nationslist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar, who was in the chair. The house was discussing the whistleblowers protection bill when the announcement was made.
The Lok Sabha was discussing the issue of Maoist violence when the announcement was made by Congress member PC Chacko, who was in the chair at the time.
Deshmukh, 67, was undergoing treatment at Global Hospital, Chennai. He was rushed to the hospital on August 6 after serious health troubles. He was reported problem in his kidney and liver. The former Maharashtra chief minister was awaiting organ transplants when he breathed his last. His family, including his three sons and wife Vaishali Deshmukh, were by his side.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mkherjee expressed grief on Deshmukh's sad departure. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi condoled on his death and said that it was a great loss to the party.
Congress leader Milind Deora said, "I know his family very well. He was a great leader, administrator. He had some ups and downs in his career. He did make mistakes in his political career, but who doesn't? His greatest strength was that he was a great leader, orator, organiser. He had control over his organisation. He was able to run the coalition government ably. He was a great campaigner for the party."
Sources close to the family said that his funeral will be held at his village Babhalgaon on Wednesday evening.
The body of the union minister would be brought to Latur, near Babhalgaon, on Wednesday morning. It would be kept at his residence in Babhalgaon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for people to pay their last respects, sources said.
The funeral procession will begin at 3 p.m. and the last rites will take place at 4 p.m.