Samant was elected on an independent, anti-Congress ticket to the Lok Sabha. He remained active in trade unions and communist politics throughout India in the 1990s, and a fierce opponent of the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party, and remained aloof from the Congress. On the morning of January 16, 1997 Samant was gunned down and murdered outside his home in Mumbai by four gunmen, believed to be contract killers, who fled on motorcycles.
His death sparked protests across the city, and a large procession of union activists gathered at his cremation.
The 250,000 mill workers who lost their jobs are till date protest against the government’s apathy on the issue and stay in dismal conditions in chawls in Lalbaug, Parel and Elphinstone areas. A few were employed in other industries while many left the city. Some committed suicide, while others waited for justice. Some even joined the local criminals and thugs and led to the rise of mafia in Mumbai.