Thane, Jun 1: A senior Congress leader and first lady Zilla Parishad Chief in the country, Tarabai Vartak, died of old age in Virar here.
Ms Vartak was 82. She died late Thursday night. She is survived by a son and two daughters.
Coming from a family of politicians, the Vartaks in Thane, who ruled the district for years, she received her early lessons in politics from her father-in-law Annasheab Vartak and later from her brother-in-law Bhausaheb, one of the powerful politicians of the district.
A woman, taking charge of the authority, was a rare phenomenon then. It was in 1972 that the Congress took up the challenge and appointed Ms Tarabai as the President of Thane Zilla Parishad she was also elected for the State Legislative Assembly in 1980.
She was the lady behind setting up of several educational institutions in Vasai-Virar belt of the district.
Several political and social leaders condoled her death during the funeral held on Friday at Virar Civic Crematorium.
Those who spoke on the occasion were former Zilla Parishad President Baban Naik and Member of Parliament Damoo Shingada, among others.