PUNE Deputy Mayor Navnath Kamble, a senior Republican Party of India (A) leader, died on Tuesday after he suffered a heart attack while on his morning walk. Kamble was rushed to the Ruby Hall Clinic, where he was declared dead. He was 48. Kamble, a close confidant of RPI (A) leader and Union minister Ramdas Athawale, was a three-time corporator. He was elected deputy mayor of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on March 15 this year.
Kamble, along with other RPI (A) leaders, had contested the PMC election on the BJP symbol, as his party had no symbol, since it had not won a single seat in the state or Lok Sabha election. The BJP-led alliance had won 97 of the 162 seats in the PMC, and come to power for the first time.
Kamble started his political career with the Dalit Panther Movement and was the city unit president of RPI (A) from 1990 to 1996, and then again from 2008 to 2009. He was elected to the PMC in 1997, 2002 and 2017. Kamble had completed his graduation from Wadia College in the city. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Expressing his grief about Kamble’s demise, city MP Anil Shirole said, “He was a grassroots worker who rose to become a leader through the citizens’ movement… it will be our responsibility to fulfill his dream of ensuring all-round development of the city.”
City NCP chief and Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan said the news of Kamble’s death came as a shock to her. “He was an activist of the Dalit Panther movement. It is a big loss for the RPI and the city,” she said. PMC authorities declared a half-day holiday in the civic body as a mark of respect for Kamble. A condolence meeting has been organised on Wednesday.