Mumbai: Senior Maharashtra Congress leader, ex-minister and former MP Eknath Gaikwad succumbed to Covid-19 on Wednesday, party sources said. A two-time Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai, Gaikwad, 81, was the father of Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad. Hailing from Dharavi, Gaikwad served as a Cabinet Minister in Maharashtra for several years and also functioned in various positions, including President of Mumbai Congress on various occasions during its most difficult times. Condolences poured in for the respected Dalit leader as news of his demise in a Mumbai hospital spread in political circles. Top leaders including Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole, Minister Ashok Chavan, Indian Youth Congress President Srinivas B.V., MPYC President Satyajeet Tambe, Vice-President Brijkishore Dutt, MRCC Treasurer Bhushan Patil, All India Professionals Congress state Vice-President Sumedh Gaikwad and State Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant offered their condolences. Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi, MP condoled Gaikwad’s passing while another leader Urmila Matondkar said she was saddened to hear about the senior Congress leader’s demise and described him as “a gentle and nice person.