INDIA. Mumbai: Rajeev Shankarrao Satav (September 21,1974-May 16,2021) a promising leader and the Congress crusader from Maharashtra passed away following the post-COVID-19 complications at a private hospital in Pune on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
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His last rites were performed with full state honors in presence of leaders and well-wishers at Kalamnuri in the Hingoli district in the Marathwada region on Monday. His son Pushkraj lit the funeral pyre. Those attended the funeral included: AICC Maharashtra in charge H K Patil, the leader of opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly Paresh Dhanani, MPCC Chief Nana Patole, Maharashtra Ministers Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan, Varsha Gaikwad, Aslam Shaikh, Vishwajit Kadam and Satej Patil.
Rajeev died due to cytomegalovirus infection, after he recovered from COVID-19 in Jehangir Hospital in Pune, sending shockwaves among Congressmen and his well-wishers. He tested COVID-19 positive on April 22, 2021, and was admitted to the hospital on April 23. He was on ventilator support from April 28 onwards. He is survived by mother, his wife and two children.
Born in Masod in Kalamnuri, he completed his graduation from Pune’s Fergusson College and obtained a Law degree from ILS Law College, Pune. An amenable and soft speaking Rajeev had cordial relations with leaders across the parties. Described as close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, his rise was meteoric. He was the permanent invitee to the All India Congress Committee (AICC), the highest decision-making body of the Indian National Congress.
As someone who stood against the Narendra Modi wave of 2014 and won one of the only two seats that his party secured in the home state in the general election, Congressman Rajeev was not a pushover. The son of former Maharashtra Minister Rajni Satav, he began as a member of the Kalamnuri Panchayat Samiti and went on to become a President of the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (MPCC), an MLA, and the MP twice.
Rajeev, Congress’s OBC face, had the distinction of wresting the Kalamnuri Assembly seat from the Shiv Sena after 20 years in the 2009 elections. He proved his mettle again when he wrested the Hingoli Lok Sabha seat by defeating Shiv Sena MP and a three-time MLA Subhash Wankhede to enter the 16 th Lok Sabha in 2014, despite strong Modi wave sweeping the country in that year.
He had refused to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections due to the responsibility of Gujarat, Diu, and Daman elections given to him by the AICC. His work during the Gujarat assembly elections (2017) in which the Congress gave a tough time to Narendra Modi on his home turf, was well appreciated since he kept the BJP on tenterhooks till last. Under his leadership, Congress won maximum seats in the Saurashtra region.
After late Gopinath Munde and Vilasrao Deshmukh, Rajeev Satav was considered as a face Marathwada in New Delhi.
The profile of the 47-year-old politician ran as 2020- Member, Rajya Sabha, 2018- Gujarat in charge of the AICC, 2014-Member, Lok Sabha, 2010 – President, AICC, 2009- 2014 MLA, 2008-2010 President, MPCC, 2007-2009 Chairman, APMC, Hingoli Zilla Parishad(HZP), 2007-Member, HZP and 2002-Member, Kalamnuri Panchayat Samiti.
A disciplinarian Rajeev’s Parliament attendance record of 81%, was higher than the national average. He was a four-time consecutive winner of the “Sansad Ratna Award”, an honor given to the top-performing Indian MPs. He was also conferred with the “Bharat Asmita Jana Pratinidhi Shreshtha-2018- Best Young Exponent of Parliamentary Practices” by MIT School of governance, Pune.
Termed as a voice with clarity, he had opened the Congress’s response in Parliament on Aadhar Bill, Skill Development, Constitutional Amendment for National Commission for Backward Classes Repeal Bill 2017, and others. Important parliamentary debates he took part in included those on MNREGA, drought, railways, IIM Bill, and Companies Law (Amendment) Bill. He was a member of multiple Parliamentary committees including Standing Committees on Railways and Defence, Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes, and Consultative Committee on Youth Affairs & Sports.
Rajeev had raised important issues about the Hingoli constituency, along with national issues through Supplementary Questions, Zero Hour Notices, and matters under Rule 377. Some of the issues included the demand for allowing admission to girl cadets in NDA and the need for a law to protect journalists. His demand in the Lok Sabha increased the number of examination centers in Maharashtra for NEET Exams. He introduced 23 private member’s bills, including establishing Supreme Court circuit benches in India’s metros and lowering of the age to contest MP, MLA, and MLC elections, Bombay High Court bench at Hingoli, and amendment in All India Services Act to ensure periodic review of bureaucrats, etc.
His death was condoled by the leaders across the political parties. “I’m very sad at the loss of my friend Rajeev Satav. He was a leader with huge potential who embodied the ideals of Congress. It’s a big loss for us all. My condolences and love to his family” Rahul Gandhi.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said: “Congress leader and CWC special invitee Rajiv Satav’s death has come as a big shock for all of us. He was a young, upcoming, and talented leader. He had effectively discharged his role of observer assigned to him by his party during the Gujarat elections. In his death, Maharashtra has lost a most promising leader”.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that in the untimely death of Satav, Maharashtra had lost a promising and well-poised leader. Satav forged friendships going beyond political affiliations. He had complete faith in parliamentary democracy and was known as a studious leader,” the Chief Minister said.