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Former Union Minister, veteran Cong leader Abdur Rehman Antulay dies
Tuesday December 2, 2014 2:07 PM, & Agencies

Abdur Rehman Antulay, former union minister, veteran Congress leader and the only Muslim who occupied the post of Chief Minister in Maharashtra, passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday. He was 85.

AR Antulay

Antulay had been ill for some time and was admitted to the Breach Candy hospital for a kidney failure recently.

He is survived by his wife Nargis, son Naved and daughters Neelam, Shabnam and Mubina, said nephew and son-in-law Mushtaque Antulay.

“As per traditions, we perform the funeral in our native place. We are likely to hold the funeral ceremonies Wednesday in his village of birth at Ambet, Raigad district,” Mushtaque Antulay told IANS.

This is the second Congress veteran to die in Maharashtra after former union minister Murli Deora expired in Mumbai Nov 24.

A member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from 1962 to 1976, Antulay was Chief Minister of Maharashtra from June 1980 to January 1982.

Antulay started his career as active social worker in 1945. As a social worker his notable achievements include construction of a jetty on the bank of Savitri river, Bankot (Khadi) Creek through local people offering free labor (shramdan in Marathi) to complete the task. He also worked with his own hands along with the villagers of Ambet.

Anutlay, who had a keen interest in the uplifting of the weaker section of the society, was also instrumental in the construction of road between the village Ambet and Lonere Goregaon (then in Kolaba, now in Raigad district) to connect his village to NH-17.

He resigned as Chief Minister of Maharashtra after the Bombay High Court convicted him of extortion on January 13, 1982.

The Bombay High Cour ruled that Antulay had illegally required Mumbai area builders to make donations to Indira Gandhi Pristhan trust, one of several trust funds he had established and controlled, in exchange for receiving more cement than the quota allotted to them by the Government.

He served as a union minister in 1995 and later in the UPA-I government of former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Antulay had courted controvery after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks saying that "there were cases of Hindu groups faking terrorist attacks and then routinely blaming Muslims afterwards."

He retired from politics after successive defeats from Raigad.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis condoled the demise of Antulay.

"Maharashtra has lost a leader who worked for the interest of the common man," Fadnavis said.

Political leaders cutting across party lines, including former chief minister Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena, paid glowing tributes to Antulay.

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