Former Congress Minister Kasam Bapu Tirmizi, who represented Gandhinagar constituency in the assembly twice between 1980 and 1990, died on Saturday at his residence in Gandhinagar. He was 86.
He was buried in his native village of Limbadiya, just one and a half kilometre away from Naroda Patiya, the scene of mass massacre during 2002 communal pogrom.
He is survived by a son Mohammed Iqbal, an advocate and two daughters — Naseem Bano, housewife and Gausiya Bano, a state government employee. Gausiya Bano is married to historian Rizwan Kadri.
Family sources said that he was not suffering from any disease and was completely hale and hearty. He, however, complained of acidity two days ago and was taken to Apollo Hospital and was given treatment. He was perfectly okay after medication and did not complain of any problem afterwards.
According to Rizwan Qadri, his father-in-law contested five assembly elections, all from Gandhinagar on Congress ticket. He lost three elections and won twice and was appointed social justice and agriculture minister in the Madhavsinh Solanki’s government. He was always very close to Madhavsinh Solanki. He was also president of the Gandhinagar District Congress Committee for 32 years.
His late wife Abida Begum Tirmizi was the first women Muslim sarpanch in the state. She was sarpanch of Limbadiya village.
His father, who was a customs officer during British rule at Borsad, had quit the job to join freedom movement.
His old colleagues in the party said that Kasam Bapu practiced principled politics and did not use his influence to make money. “He lived his life in poverty and died in poverty,” one of his party colleagues commented.
He was very popular in his area. He always travelled in jeep. While going from his village to Gandhinagar, he would pick up the villagers who wanted to go to Gandhinagar.
Condoling his death, state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela said that Kasam Bapu was a leader of the masses. “In his death, the party has lost a leader who always listened to the grievances of the common man and tried to solve them.”