Pune: Veteran socialist leader and former Maharashtra minister Bhai Vaidya passed away on Monday evening after prolonged illness. He was 89 and had been admitted to Poona Hospital for treatment for pancreatic cancer.Born on June 22, 1928, in Dapode village in Pune’s Velhe Tehsil, Vaidya was among the last in the fading constellation of socialist leaders. renowned for probity in public life. He was a staunch adherent of socialist values and ideals and was president of the revamped Socialist Party of India in 2011. He was mayor of Pune in 1974-75 and Minister of state for home in Sharad Pawar’s cabinet between 1978-80.Swept in the flush and enthusiasm of the 1942 Quit India movement, Vaidya had his first brush with political activism before he turned 15. In an age of corruption and compromised political ideals, he stood above the squalor of petty realpolitik, maintaining his dignity through his rectitude and near-legendary honesty.He endured prison several times during his political career of more than six decades, most notably while serving as Pune’s Mayor in the mid-1970s when he defied Emergency and staged a massive protest march.