(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Rural development minister was on way to delhi airport last rites in maharashtra
prime minister narendra modi places a wreath as he pays tribute to gopinath munde in new delhi on tuesday. — ap
india’s minister for rural development gopinath munde died here on tuesday morning after suffering a cardiac arrest when his car was hit by another car while he was on his way to the indira gandhi international airport (igia) in the capital to take a flight to mumbai just eight days after he was sworn-in as a member of the union council of ministers.
he was 64. he is survived by his wife and three daughters.
his senior colleague in the bharatiya janata party (bjp) and union road transport and highways minister nitin gadkari announced the death to waiting journalists outside the trauma centre of the all india institute of medical sciences (aiims).
leaders offer condolences
new delhi — president pranab mukherjee vice-president m hamid ansari and prime minister narendra modi expressed shock and grief over the death of union rural development minister gopinath munde in a car accident here on tuesday morning.
expressing his heartfelt condolences mukherjee said that munde’s passing away was a huge loss for the people of maharashtra and india.
“in his death we have lost a veteran leader who always worked for the common man” he said.
ansari said munde was amongst the most prominent political leaders of maharashtra who had a long and illustrious public life during which he served his state and the country in various capacities with great distinction.
“in his departure we have lost a distinguished public servant whose absence will be felt by one and all” he said.
“extremely saddened & shocked by the demise of my friend & colleague gopinath munde ji. his demise is a major loss for the nation & the govt” modi said on micro-blogging website twitter.
“gopinath munde ji was a true mass leader. hailing from backward sections of society he rose to great heights & tirelessly served people. my tributes to a dynamic leader whose premature demise leaves a void hard to fill. condolences to munde jis family. we stand by them in this hour of grief” he added.
congress president sonia gandhi several of munde’s cabinet colleagues including home minister rajnath singh maharashtra chief minister prithviraj chavan former union agriculture minister sharad pawar who was chief minister of maharashtra when munde was leader of opposition and leaders of various parties cutting across political lines condoled his death.
meanwhile the government has decided that the national flag will be flown at half mast on tuesday in delhi and in the capitals of all states and union territories as a mark of respect to munde.
the national flag will be flown at half mast on the day of the funeral at the place where the funeral will take place a press release from the ministry of home affairs said.
members of munde’s family including his daughter and son-in-law reached delhi from mumbai and they will take his body to mumbai where it will be placed at the bjp office there for party workers to pay their last respects before being taken to his residence in worli. the body will be flown to latur on wednesday morning and then taken by road to parali in beed district for his last rites which will be held at 4.30pm on wednesday with full state honours.
according to various reports munde’s car a maruti sx4 was hit by another car a tata indica on the side where he was seated in the rear seat around 6.20am.
his personal assistant and driver who were travelling with him in the car rushed him first to the safdarjung hospital nearby and he was shifted immediately from there to the jai prakash narayan apex trauma centre (jpnatc) of aiims next door.
dr amit gupta aiims spokesperson told reporters that when munde was brought to the trauma centre at around 6.30am he had no spontaneous bleeding no blood pressure no pulse and no cardiac activity.
doctors immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) but after more than 50 minutes of “aggressive” efforts to revive him did not help they finally declared him dead at 7.20am.
gupta said that munde’s body had been shifted to the mortuary and would be handed over to his relatives after a post-mortem examination which would establish the cause of death. he said munde’s body had no signs of any major external injury and he appeared to have suffered a cardiac arrest.
gadkari quoting munde’s personal assistant said the minister who had collapsed in the car after the impact of the collision had asked for water which he drank and then told his staff to rush him to a hospital. union health and family welfare minister harsh vardhan who is a practising medical doctor said the cause of the death would be established after the post-mortem examination. he said munde appeared to have no external injuries except some abrasions on his nose.
police said munde’s vehicle was on its way from prithviraj road to safdarjung road when it was hit by another car an indica which was moving from safdarjung road to tughlak road. the accident spot is at a crossing of four major roads: prithviraj road safdarjung road aurobindo marg and tughlak road.
the driver of the indica had been arrested and was being questioned. preliminary enquiries revealed that he was driving a private car and was employed by a well-known hotel in central delhi.
munde was on his way to beed and parali in maharashtra where he was scheduled to attend victory rallies when the mishap occurred. in fact members of his family were waiting at the mumbai airport to receive him when they received news of the tragedy sources said.
as news of munde’s death spread several union ministers and senior bjp leaders began arriving at aiims and later at the bjp headquarters here at 11 ashok road to pay their last respects to him. many of his ministerial colleagues could not believe that munde was no more having attended the first meeting of the entire union council of ministers on monday evening and shared several light moments with him till late in the night.
poor farmer’s son who toiled to succeed on national stage
reporting from mumbai
gopinath pandurang munde was a grassroots politician who had risen from the ranks of the bharatiya janata party (bjp) in maharashtra’s backward region of marathawada.
born to a poor family of farmers in the hardscrabble district of beed munde 64 rose to become the deputy chief minister of maharashtra during the sena-bjp rule between 1995 and 1999.
munde’s political fortunes changed after he married pradnya whose brother pramod mahajan was one of the most powerful bjp leaders in maharashtra. mahajan who was killed by his brother in 2006 along with munde stitched up the alliance with the shiv sena in the state in the early 1990s.
however after mahajan’s death munde was sidelined in the bjp which saw the emergence of leaders such as nitin gadkari. both munde and gadkari were rivals in the state. after the latter became the president of the bjp munde felt he was ignored by the party leadership.
but in the run-up to the general elections he was seen to be in the good books of narendra modi. munde won his beed parliamentary seat last month and was made a minister by prime minister modi.
a regional leader munde was ambitious and wanted to make a mark nationally. after his 2009 win from beed he was made deputy leader of the party in the lok sabha.
but according to party sources he was keen on returning to maharashtra. many of his supporters believe that he could have become the state’s chief minister if the bjp managed to win more seats than the shiv sena.
munde unlike gadkari is also close to uddhav thackeray the sena president. he also had a good equation with both congress and nationalist congress party politicians in the state.
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