Mumbai, Aug 7 :Eknath Thakur, chairman of Saraswat Bank and former member of parliament, died here Thursday, family sources said. He was 73 and breathed his last at his Dadar home following a prolonged battle with cancer. Thakur was a Rajya Sabha MP from 2002-2008 and was also the director of several public and private sector banks. He was a Shiv Sena leader.

Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan described Thakur as “a respected person who laid his imprint on the socio-economic life of (the people of) the state in more ways than one.” “Thakur had a sincere urge to serve the society. As an MP he often raised issues of concern for the common man…Through the NSB, he prepared several youths for a career in the field of banking and encouraged them to become entrepreneurs,” Sankaranarayanan said.

He also served as a trustee of the Indian Education Society, one of the largest educational organisations running 75 institutions in Mumbai. A few years ago, he founded the National School of Banking (NSB) which has trained over 3,00,000 students aspiring to join the country’s banking industry through its 50 centres across India. Thakur’s last rites will be performed at Shivaji Park here Friday.