Senior Congress leader Motilal Vora died on Monday at a hospital in Delhi following post-COVID-19 complications, his family said. He was 93.
Vora was admitted to the Escorts Hospital in Okhla here a few days ago with a urinary infection. He also had a lung infection and was put on ventilator support, his family said. He will be cremated in Chhattisgarh where his body will be taken either later in the day or on Tuesday.
He had served as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and governor of Uttar Pradesh. Vora had also worked as a journalist in Mumbai, Nagpur and Raipur. He had also held the post of All India Congress Committee (AICC) treasurer for about 20 years. In 2018, he was appointed as in-charge of administration.
On Vora’s demise, the Congress released a statement saying: “We offer our heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of stalwart Congress leader, former Union Cabinet Minister and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Motilal Vora. Congress has lost a guiding light. May his soul rest in peace.”
Vora began his political stint as a Congress councillor, following which he became the Chief Minister, Union Minister, Governor and Congress treasurer. He demitted his Rajya Sabha term in March this year and said,”On the last day in the Upper House, I want to bow and salute the people of Durg, formerly part of undivided Madhya Pradesh. I started my political stint as a councillor with Indira ji ( former PM Indira Gandhi), tried to serve the people as the MP Chief Minister and Union Minister. I am thankful to the Gandhi family and am always ready to serve the Congress.”
Vora was a Gandhi family loyalist and despite being in the race for ministerial post many times, Sonia Gandhi retained him as Congress treasurer because she deeply trusted Voraji.
While recalling his political journey, Vora said he also served as a journalist for a short span in Rajasthan before joining politics.
During his last days, the Congress veteran was very active politically and kept a close watch on the functioning of the Chhattisgarh government that had recently completed two years. “Under the leadership of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the state government has launched a campaign against malnutrition and positive results have started showing by which more than 77,000 children in the state have become malnutrition-free,” Vora had tweeted.
Congress loyalists Motilal Vora and Ahmed Patel were often seen interacting with one another and were regular faces at AICC meetings.
His friends recall Vora was fond of delicacies such as ‘Rabri’, ‘Jalebi’, ‘Dahi Bade’ and used to chew ‘Paan’. Despite being 92, he defeated Covid-19 and was declared fit and fine, said Vishwanath Chaturvedi, known to be close to Vora.
Following Vora’s demise, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted,”Vora ji was a true Congressman and a wonderful human being. We will miss him very much. My love and condolences to his family and friends.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over his demise. In a tweet, the Prime Minister said: “Shri Motilal Vora Ji was among the senior-most Congress leaders who had vast administrative and organisational experience in a political career that spanned decades. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and well-wishers. Om Shanti.”
(With inputs from agencies)