Maratha quota supporter and Shiv Sangram chief Vinayak Mete dies in car crash on Mumbai-Pune expressway
Mete, another person, and his driver were in the car, driving from Pune to Mumbai. According to officials, the accident happened at 5:05 am near the Madap tunnel, which is under the jurisdiction of the Rasayani police station in the neighbouring Raigad district.
Shiv Sangram party leader and former member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Vinayak Mete, was killed after a vehicle hit his car on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Sunday morning, according to officials. Mete was 52.
Mete was an outspoken advocate for reservation for the Maratha community. According to officials, the accident happened at 5:05 am, near Madap tunnel, which is under the jurisdiction of the Rasayani police station in the neighbouring Raigad district.
Mete, another person, and his driver was in the car on their way to Mumbai from Pune, the official said.
According to the official, a vehicle struck their car near the Madap tunnel, causing severe injuries to all three.
He added they were rushed to a private hospital in Navi Mumbai, where Mete was pronounced dead.
Mete was brought to the MGM Hospital in Panvel in seriously injured condition, as per the doctor who checked him.
"He was admitted at 6:20 am. He didn't have a pulse or blood pressure, and his pupils didn't move. He passed away before being taken to the hospital. We even did an ECG (electrocardiogram), but it showed a flat line (indicating no heart movement)," according to the doctor.
The former MLC from the Marathwada district of Beed supported the Maratha reservation. Mete is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Mete's death shocked the Maharashtra minister and former state BJP president Chandrakant Patil.
"He was genuinely concerned about the Maratha reservation." Patil said the loss was "devastating for the Maratha community and us."
Sharad Pawar, the president of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), also expressed sorrow over Mete's death.
"He focused on social issues rather than political. He was a social activist rather than a political leader," said Pawar while talking to the media.
Pawar added, "It comes as a huge shock to us." He previously belonged to the NCP. Pawar stated that he pursued the demand for reservation for Marathas in education and government jobs.
Congress leader and former chairman of a Maharashtra subcommittee on the Maratha reservation, Ashok Chavan, said that losing a leader like Mete is unfortunate. "Mete, and I was almost on the same page on the issue of Maratha reservation in the state, despite being in different political parties."
Mete and other activists from his organisation attacked Kumar Ketkar's Thane home in 2008 to protest an editorial in the newspaper opposing the then-state government's decision to install a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea.
(With inputs from PTI)