Murli Deora (1937 – 24 November 2014) was an Indian politician belonging to the Congress Party, and Minister of Corporate Affairs until 12 July 2011.
He was born in Mumbai, and did his BA from Mumbai University. Native Place of Murli Deora is at Rajasthan. His family hailed from Sikar Rajasthan.
The Supreme Court in Murli S Deora vs. Union of India and Ors., recognized the harmful effects of smoking in public and also the effect on passive smokers, and in the absence of statutory provisons at that time, prohibited smoking in public places such as,1.auditoriums, 2. hospital buildings, 3. health institutions, 4. educational institutions, 5.libraries, 6. court buildings, 7. public office, 8. public conveyances, including the railways.
“Tobacco is universally regarded as one of the major public health hazards and is responsible directly or indirectly for an estimated eight lakh deaths annually in the country. It has also been found that treatment of tobacco related diseases and the loss of productivity caused therein cost the country almost Rs. 13,500 crores annually, which more than offsets all the benefits accruing in the form of revenue and employment generated by tobacco industry”.
— Supreme Court of India, Murli S. Deora vs Union Of India And Ors on 2 November, 2001
The industrialist and social worker-turned-politician began his innings from the Mumbai Municipal Corporation way back in 1968 when he was elected corporator. Later, in 1977, Deora was elected mayor of Mumbai with Shiv Sena’s support.
Known for his close relations with politicians of all political parties, the arts graduate first contested the Lok Sabha polls from Mumbai South constituency in 1980 but lost to the Janata Party’s Ratansingh Rajda though, in the subsequent election, Deora defeated BJP’s Jayawantiben Mehta by a huge margin. He was re-elected in 1989, 1991 but lost to Mehta in 1996 and 1999 before his son, Milind, defeated Mehta to go to the Lok Sabha from the same constituency in 2004.
Deora is a trusted aide of the Gandhi family in Mumbai. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2004 and was inducted in the Union cabinet as petroleum minister in January 2006. His high point was countering the oilmen’s strike with an iron fist, breaking his image as a soft person.
He did his bit to shield consumers from the impact of oil’s high run, but couldn’t stop state-run oil companies from going into the red for the first time, posting historical quarterly losses. Appointment of ONGC chairman also became controversial. Deora, who has literally ruled the Mumbai Congress for well over a decade, is closely associated with the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and the Indian Red Cross Society.
He was president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee for 22 years from 1981 to 2003.
His appointment in 2006 as cabinet minister as Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas replacing Mani Shankar Aiyar was seen by some observers as taking place at the behest of pro-American and pro-business lobbies.
In the Congress re election in 2009, Deora retained the portfolio of Petroleum and Natural Gas in the second government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
His son Milind Murli Deora was a Lok Sabha member from Mumbai.