Former MLA and Mayor Sri Sambhaji Patil passes away


Published: 19/05/2019



Sambhaji Patil, former MLA and Mayor, died here on Friday night. He was 68. He was suffering from a kidney ailment for sometime now.

Dubbed the ‘enfant terrible’ of Belagavi politics, he rose to prominence using linguistic activism, only to reject it later. A long-term leader of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, he switched to the Karnataka Congress Party (KCP) and the Congress, before returning to the MES and winning the Belagavi South seat in the 2013 Assembly elections.

Mr. Patil’s four terms as Mayor were marked by the Belagavi city corporation being divided into Kannada, Marathi, and Urdu blocks, and not on the basis of political parties.

The Maratha leader came from a humble background. He spent a few years in school and took menial jobs to feed his family Belagavi in the early 70s.


Senior Marathi activists who noticed his organisational skills invited him to the MES. He went on to be Mayor in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 2003.

He fell out with other MES leaders and quit the party in 2003. When he came back to the MES after a decade, he allegedly headed a separate faction of the MES, the eponymous Sambhaji Patil faction.