Pimpri-Chichwad corporator and NCP leader Datta Sane, who unmasked several civic scams and was at the forefront of highlighting public issues, succumbed to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Saturday morning. He was 48 and is survived by his wife, two children and two brothers.
Fondly addressed as Kaka, Sane was a three-time corporator from Chikhali area of Pimpri-Chinchwad. After he started suffering from breathing problems, he was admitted to Aditya Birla Hospital in Chinchwad on June 24. “He was in fine condition when he was admitted. His health, however, gradually went on deteriorating,” said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar.
Sane, a former opposition leader, was cremated at the Chikhali crematorium. Mayor Usha Dhore and several top politicians across party lines were present at the cremation.
“Datta Sane had diabetes and high blood pressure. He was admitted to the hospital on June 24 with complaints of throat pain, stomach pain, and mild breathlessness for two to three days, with Covid-19 positive reports done from a lab. On the very first day of admission, his oxygen level was low and he was on supplemental oxygen. X-ray showed pneumonia on the left lower side. In spite of aggressive treatment, his symptoms deteriorated rapidly. Hence, he was shifted to the ICU. He was put on a non-invasive ventilator. Inspite of this, no improvement was noticed. Convalescent plasma therapy was also considered and given. He was then put on the ventilator, but succumbed to his illness at 5.39 am,” read a statement by the hospital.
In recent years, Sane had emerged as a strong voice from the NCP, the main opposition party in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). He constantly raised issues of civic inadequacies and took on the ruling BJP head on.
Last month, after Sane raised his voice against the poor quality of masks distributed by PCMC in low-income areas, the civic administration was forced to launch an investigation in the matter.
Nearly two years ago, Sane was the one who brought to the fore the alleged extravagant meal hosted by PCMC for then District Guardian Chandrakant Patil and other leaders.
Sane also exposed the “unnecessary expenditure” worth crores incurred by PCMC on consultants. At a civic general body meeting, he slammed the administration and accused it of wasting public money, “PCMC has been appointing consultants for various projects. This is nothing but attempts to fill the coffers of corporators and some civic officials. The consultants are fit for nothing, they provide wrong advice. Does it make sense to waste the taxpayer’s hard-earned money ?”
Sane was the first opposition leader to launch the “opposition leader at your doorstep” drive. The attempt was to highlight the alleged corruption during BJP regime in Pimpri-Chinchwad and take up citizens’ issues through personal interactions.
In Bhosari constituency, Sane was touted as the only NCP leader capable of taking on the challenge of BJP MLA Mahesh Landge. In the assembly elections held last year, Sane was keen to contest against Landge. But, on NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s request, he withdrew from the race. “I am ready to defeat Mahesh Landge. But because Ajitdada requested me, I am withdrawing from the race as a disciplined soldier of the party,” he had told The Indian Express.
Paying tribute to him, Pawar said, “The NCP has suffered a setback… he raised the stock of the party in the public eye by consistently raising their issues.”
Mayor Mai Dhore said, “Inside and outside civic meetings, he fought for proper civic amenities for local residents. He was polite and never hurt anyone through his words.”
While MPs Shrirang Barne and Amol Kolhe described him as a “a true fighter for public causes”, MLA Laxman Jagtap said he had lost a friend of 25 years.
NCP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit chief Sanjog Waghere said Sane’s fighting spirit had revived the morale of the party rank and file
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