Mr Kothari was suffering from urinary tract ailment for some time and died at around 9:45 am at his residence at Patparganj in East Delhi.
"He was not keeping well for the last two years. He died of old-age," a family member said. He was survived by his two sons Miloon and Ashish. His last rites are likely to take place today.
Mr Kothari was member of the Planning Commission during the national Front Government led by VP Singh.
A well known political thinker, Mr Kothari was founder of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in 1963, a social sciences and humanities research institute based in New Delhi.
He had also floated Lokayan in 1980 which is a forum for interaction between activists and intellectuals.
His published works include Politics in India, Caste in Indian Politics and Rethinking Democracy, In Search of Humane World Order Poverty: Human Consciousness and the Amnesia of Development and Communalism in Indian Politics.
Mr Kothari was born born on 16th August, 1928.