PANAJI: Former Rajya Sabha lawmaker and ex-Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik died after suffering a heart attack today, party officials said.
Mr Naik, 72, was taken to a private hospital in Margao town from his residence after he complained of uneasiness where he was declared brought dead, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary Altinho Gomes told PTI.
He was declared dead at 7 am today.
“It is shocking news for us. We have lost a guide in the form of him. He had mentored so many youths and inspired them to join Congress party. It is a big loss for us,” said Goa Congress leader Girish Raya Chodankar.
Considered as the party loyalist, Mr Naik was elected as the member of Lok Sabha in the 1984 General Election. He also pursued the demand for statehood to Goa which was fulfilled in the year 1987.
Naik joined the Congress as a party worker and worked his way up the ranks. He played a role in the passage of the Statehood Bill that consequently granted statehood to Goa on May 30, 1987. From putting up posters during election time, to bringing party workers for meetings, Naik worked his way to the top by sheer hard work. He was a dedicated worker who stuck with the party through thick and thin.
Simple and down-to-earth, he was not flamboyant unlike some other Goa leaders of the new generation. Naik was a family man who loved spending his free time with his family.
He represented Goa in Rajya Sabha for two terms – 2005-2011 and 2011-2017. He was defeated by BJP candidate Vinay Tendulkar during the elections held for Rajya Sabha seat in July 2017.
He is survived by his wife and a son. The last rites will be held at 11 am at his ancestral house at Cuncolim tomorrow (Sunday)