Dr Suresh Amonkar loses Covid battle, 8th death in Goa

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 06 July 2020 21:08 IST

Dr Suresh Amonkar, former health minister of BJP, lost a fortnight-long battle with Covid today evening.

Dr Suresh Amonkar, former health minister of BJP, lost a fortnight-long battle with Covid today evening.

A kidney patient, 68-year old Dr Amonkar was admitted in Covid hospital on Sunday, 21st June from a private hospital.

Even during his hospitalization at Covid hospital, he was undergoing dialysis. He was on a ventilator for quite a few days.

Dr Amonkar was elected twice as the MLA of then Pali (now Sankhli) constituency in 1999 as well as in 2002 on BJP ticket.

He had served as the health minister in the BJP-supported Francisco Sardinha government as well as two governments led by Manohar Parrikar.

He was also the state BJP President for two terms.

However, he lost 2007 election to Congress MLA Gurudas Gawas.

In a bye-election held in 2008 due to sudden demise of Gurudas Gawas, Dr Amonkar was replaced by BJP youth leader Dr Pramod Sawant, the chief minister today. He revolted to contest as an independent. 

While Pratap Gawas defeated BJP's Dr Sawant, Dr Amonkar was pushed to third position. 

He did not contest 2012 Assembly election paving way to his own former party colleage Dr Pramod Sawant, who made a debut in Goa Assembly by defeating Congress candidate Pratap Gawas.

In 2017, he was roped in by Goa Suraksha Manch and its rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar, but lost once again to Dr Pramod Sawant while getting pushed to  third position again with Congress candidate Dharmesh Saglani overscoring him.

Known for his gentle behavior, the low-profile gentleman was a popular medical practitioner in the whole mining belt and was giving free treatment to his patients till recently.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Dr Amonkar is the second politician after 72-year old Pascol D’Souza, two-time councilor of Mangor in Mormugao and brother of NCP President Jose Philip D’Souza, expired yesterday in Covid hospital.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Cuncolim BJP MLA Clefacio Dias, who is also admitted in Covid hospital, has been put on oxygen cylinder but his state is not critical, according to sources.

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