Mumbai, July 17 (IANS) Veteran socialist leader Mrinal Gore, popularly known as "Paaniwali Bai", died of old age problems Tuesday in a hospital in Maharashtra's Thane district, family sources said. She was 84.
Considered the last of Maharashtra's socialist pillars, Gore came to be known as "Paaniwali Bai" after she stormed inside the Mumbai civic headquarters and tore up papers as municipal laws did not permit water connections to slums.
She contested the civic elections in 1961 for the first time and won a seat in the then Bombay Municipal Council. Gore took up the issue of water connections in slums in 1964 after 11 people were killed in water riots.
Gore contested the 1977 Lok Sabha general elections, held after the then prime minister Indira Gandhi revoked Emergency, on a Janata Party ticket. Owing to her catchy slogan "Paaniwali bai Delhi mein, Delhiwali bai paani mein", she won with the highest victory margin in Maharashtra.
However, when Gandhi bounced back in 1980, the tables were turned as Gore lost with a heavy margin.
Gore, however, continued to serve in the state legislature and council for several terms.
Expressing his condolences, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Gore will be accorded a full state funeral in Mumbai Wednesday.
Governor K. Sankaranarayanan also expressed grief over Gore's death.
"Mrinal Gore was one of the greatest woman social workers who until her death fought for the rights of the poor and the underprivileged sections of society. Along with the late Comrade Ahilya Rangnekar and others, Mrinal Gore remained in the forefront of various agitations for almost four decades and secured justice for women and the urban poor," he said.