Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Satav died on Sunday, days after recovering from the coronavirus infection, hospital sources said. Satav (46) was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Pune after testing coronavirus positive last month and was on ventilator support. "He had recovered from COVID-19. He was taking some immunosuppressant drugs as he was suffering from spondylitis and as his immunity was low, he contracted COVID-19. He later developed a bacterial infection due to which he had fibrosis in the lungs. Despite best efforts by doctors, he succumbed to the infection," said Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope.
After recovering from COVID-19, he was diagnosed with Cytomegalovirus infection and his condition became critical. Cytomegalovirus is a common virus spread through body fluids like blood, urine, saliva, breast milk, tears, semen and vaginal fluids, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Casual contact doesn't transmit Cytomegalovirus, it adds.
People who have weakened immune systems, such as those who have had an organ, bone marrow or stem cell transplant, or those who are infected with HIV are more likely to experience signs and symptoms of Cytomegalovirus, it says. Satav on April 22 said he had tested COVID-19 positive and was hospitalised the next day.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi condoled his demise and said it is a big loss to him. "I'm very sad at the loss of my friend Rajeev Satav. He was a leader with huge potential who embodied the ideals of Congress. It's a big loss for us all. My condolences and love to his family," tweeted Rahul Gandhi, bemoaning the loss of his trusted colleague.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi described Satav as a rising star of the party who was known for his unfailing dedication and sincerity. In her condolence message, Gandhi said she is deeply pained by the tragic loss of the party leader, "who was a trusted colleague and a friend to all of us." She said it is also a personal loss for her.
"Rajeev Satav was only 46 years old. He rose from the grassroots to holding many responsibilities in a short time due to his unfailing dedication, sincerity and hard work," she said. He served as the Indian Youth Congress president, AICC secretary and the party's Gujarat in-charge, she added. "As Lok Sabha member, he championed people's issues and fought for the ideals of the constitution. He was a rising star of the Congress party," she said.
The Congress chief also spoke to Satav's mother and wife and expressed her heartfelt condolences.
Satav, who hailed from Maharashtra's Hingoli district, also leaves behind two children aged 11 and 16.
"Anguished by the passing away of my friend from Parliament, Shri Rajeev Satav Ji. He was an upcoming leader with much potential. Condolences to his family, friends and supporters. Om Shanti," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"I am deeply shocked by the untimely demise of Rajya Sabha member, Shri Rajiv Satav due to Covid-related complications. He was a dynamic parliamentarian & deeply committed to serving the people. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members & his followers. Om Shanthi!" Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu tweeted.
The Congress said Satav's unwavering dedication towards the nation and the party carried out with pure simplicity will be greatly missed. "Our condolences to his family, friends and followers," the party tweeted.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said he has been rendered speechless due to the loss. "Today I lost a fellow who took the first step of public life with me in the Youth Congress and walked along till today...We will always remember Rajeev Satav's simplicity, ever-smiling, connected to the grassroots, loyalty and friendship. Goodbye, my friend. Keep shining, wherever you are," he tweeted.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, "In Rajiv Satav we have lost one of our brightest colleagues. Clean of heart, sincere, deeply committed to the ideals of the Congress and devoted to the people of India."
Maharashtra Congress leaders said Satav's death is an irreparable loss. The NCP and Shiv Sena also expressed shock over his demise. NCP president Sharad Pawar said Satav's death was shocking. Pawar described him as a studious and aggressive leader.
"Saddened to lose our young Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Satav. His passing away is a huge loss to the party. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May his soul rest in peace," tweeted Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also expressed grief over Satav's demise. "The demise of Rajeev Satavji, Congress in-charge for Gujarat, who was always active in public life, is very sad. May the Lord bestow salvation to his divine soul and strength to his family members and loved ones to bear this suffering," Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani tweeted.
Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani said Satav's simplicity, smile, his connection to the grassroots and loyalty to the party will always be remembered.
"Goodbye my friend, bye my boss!" Dhanani tweeted.
Gujarat Congress unit president Amit Chavda and former chief minister and ex-Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela also paid tribute to Satav.