PUNE: Nationalist Congress Party MLA Bharat Bhalke died here on Saturday while undergoing treatment for post-COVID complications, a hospital official said.
Bhalke (60), a three-term MLA from Pandharpur- Mangalvedha constituency in Solapur district was admitted to a Pune-based private hospital on November 9 after being diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome.
A doctor who treated Bhalke said he was tested COVID- 19 positive on October 30 and returned home after recovery. He was readmitted on November 9 after complaints of fever and cough, the doctor said.
Bhalke's condition deteriorated recently and he was on ventilator support.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar visited the hospital on Friday evening to inquire about his health.
NCP MLA Bharat Bhalke no more. He fought the toughest battle of his life against deadly virus Covid 19. He was admitted in private hospital in Pune. He was also suffering from other aliments like diabetes & Blood Pressure. @NewIndianXpress— Sudhir Suryawanshi (@ss_suryawanshi) November 28, 2020
Bhalke had resigned from the House in 2018 over the demand of reservation for Maratha community. He was then a Congress MLA.
A former wrestler, Bhalke had defeated five-time MLA Sudhakar Paricharak - who died three months ago following post-COVID complications - in 2014 and 2019 Assembly polls.
Bhalke won the 2009 Assembly election as a Left front nominee, defeating former minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil.
He won again in 2014 on a Congress ticket and became an MLA for the third time, contesting the polls as a candidate of the Pawar-led NCP.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)