Former Gujarat Chief Minister Dilip Parikh died on Friday at a private hospital in Ahmedabad where he had undergone a surgery following a fall at his home a few days ago. He was 82.
Parikh served as the 13th Chief Minister of Gujarat between October 1997 and March 1998 when he was with the Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), floated by former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela. Parikh’s government was supported by the Congress.
Parikh’s body was brought to his residence in Vastrapur on Friday afternoon where his old friends, family members and colleagues from Congress party paid him tributes. Ahmedabad collector Vikrant Pandey was also present. Later in the evening, his body was cremated in Thaltej.
Known to be a close confidant of Vaghela, Parikh is said to have also played an important role when the former revolted and split the BJP in 1996.
Brought into politics by Vaghela in 1990, Parikh joined the BJP and won from Dhanduka constituency to become industries minister in the Suresh Mehta-led BJP government. Parikh was then called in to take charge as chief minister in October 1997 to call a truce with the Congress which had threatened to withdraw support to Vaghela.
“There were two contenders to the post – Babu Meghji Shah and Dilip Parikh. Dilipbhai was sober, soft-spoken and was chosen to lead the government,” said Vishnu Pandya, who was formerly with the RJP and is a veteran author.
The high point of Parikh’s brief stint as chief minister was the police encounter of Ahmedabad underworld don Abdul Latif Shaikh in 1997.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Parikh and said he worked for the people of Gujarat with “utmost dedication”.
“Dilipbhai Parikh made a mark in the world of industry and public service. He worked for the people of Gujarat with utmost dedication. His affable nature endeared him to people across all walks of life. Saddened by his demise. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti!” Modi tweeted.
“Saddened by the demise of Shri Dilip Parikh Ji – Former Chief Minister of Gujarat. I pray for the departed soul. I express my deepest condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti (sic),” tweeted Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Parikh was born in 1937 in Mumbai and pursued BA degree in Economics from Elphinstone College in Mumbai. He ran a plastic manufacturing business, and also served as president of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.