Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: Congress leader VC Shukla passes away
New Delhi: Former Union Minister and Congress veteran VC Shukla, who suffered bullet injuries in the deadly Naxal attack that eliminated Chhattisgarh party leadership over a fortnight ago, died on Tuesday after developing multi-organ failure.
Shukla (84) died at 14:38 hours, said Yatin Mehta, Chairman of Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology in the Medanta Medicity Hospital here. He is survived by wife and three daughters.
He developed multi-organ failure. Severe bullet injury and old age were major risk factors in his case, Mehta said.
A press release issued by the hospital said Shukla was operated upon for his intestinal and liver injuries and remained critical in the ICU with vital organs support.
He had gun-shot injuries in his chest, abdomen and thigh and was in critical condition on arrival at the hospital, the release said.
The BJP ruled government in Chhattisgarh declared a three-day state mourning as a mark of respect for Shukla whose death was condoled by President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other leaders.
Shukla was airlifted from Raipur and admitted to the hospital in a critical condition on May 26, a day after the attack in south Bastar area of the Maoist violence affected state.
Shukla had shown marginal improvement a week ago but his condition deteriorated again following an infection.
Prior to his shift to Gurgaon, Shukla had undergone an operation at a Jagdalpur hospital for removal of the bullets.
Shukla, son of illustrious lawyer, freedom fighter and veteran Congressman Ravishankar Shukla, was the first Chief Minister of the re-organized Madhya Pradesh.
Elected to Lok Sabha nine times, the first time in 1957, he was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting under the late Mrs Indira Gandhi and had a controversial tenure in the ministry during the Emergency.
He had sided with VP Singh in the late 80s and joined the Jan Morcha in the run up to the Parliament elections in 1989.
Shukla became a minister in VP Singh government and later switched to Chandrashekhar to remain a minister in the shortlived JD (S) government.
Then he returned to Congress and became a Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.
Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily, in his condolence message, said Shukla in 1957 was the youngest Member of Parliament.
"He returned elected to Lok Sabha nine times in subsequent elections. He may have gone but the ideals will inspire the generations to come. May his soul rest in eternal peace," he said.
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