Thursday 26 May 2022
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Union Minister Gopinath Munde dies in accident

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Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Pandurang Munde died this morning, succumbing to injuries and shock sustained in a car crash in Delhi on his way to the Indira Gandhi International airport.accident

His car, a Suzuki SX4, was emerging from Prithviraj Road and approaching Safdarjung Road when a Tata Indica coming from the direction of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Aurobindo Marg and going towards Tughlaq Road hit it on the side where the minister was seated at about 6:30 am.

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A doctor at the AIIMS said Munde was declared dead shortly after being brought to the emergency department. “When he was brought to the hospital there was no spontaneous breathing, pulse and cardiac activity,” AIIMS spokesman Amit Gupta told reporters. “We tried to resuscitate him but despite all efforts Munde couldn´t be revived and was declared dead at 7:30am,” he said.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced Munde’s death before the media outside the hospital at 8:45 am; the death occurred at 7:20 am, he informed. The driver of the Indica has been taken into cutody for questioning.

Expressing his sadness and shock at the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Gopinath Munde ji was a true mass leader. Hailing from backward sections of society, he rose to great heights & (and) tirelessly served (the) people.” Condolscence messages from colleagues and political rivals, industrialists and film personalities alike are still pouring in.

Munde’s body will be taken to 11 Ashoka Road for people to pay their last respects. Gadkari said Munde’s body will be flown to Latur airport in Maharahstra, from where he will be taken to his village in Beed district for his last rites.

Post-mortem

Munde’s liver was ruptured in the road accident and he suffered a cardiac arrest due to shock, as per preliminary postmortem report by a team of doctors at AIIMS here. “His liver was ruptured which caused internal bleeding. Due to the sudden shock/impact, he then suffered cardiac arrest. None of the external wounds were fatal enough to cause death,” AIIMS source said.

“He had significant injuries to various internal organs that eventually triggered a heart attack. Heart attack is always the last straw and in his case was a result of severe injuries he suffered from inside in the accident,” said Dr Amit Gupta, spokesperson, AIIMS.

“On his arrival at the Trauma Centre, there was no spontaneous breathing, no blood pressure, no pulse and no cardiac activity. Immediately, cardiopulmonary resuscitation was started and continued for the next 50 minutes. Despite repeated resuscitative measures, Munde could not be revived and was declared dead at 7.20am,” said Dr Gupta.

“Munde was brought to us in an extremely critical state and we did everything possible to revive him,” Dr Gupta said.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who spoke to the team that performed the post-mortem, said: “He had two main injuries — cervical spine fracture at the level of C1, C2 that cut the blood supply to his brain, and liver rupture. The spine fracture led to the respiratory and cardiac systems failure, and there was also excessive blood loss due to damage to the liver that had got accumulated inside the abdomen.”

Munde’s postmortem was conducted by a medical board at AIIMS after which his body was taken to BJP headquarters at 11 Ashoka Road. The post-mortem began around 10.15am and was over within an hour. The AIIMS authorities handed over the preliminary post-mortem report to the investigating officer in the evening.

The body was embalmed at the hospital and handed over to the family around noon.

and career

Munde was born in Parali, Maharashtra, on 12 December 1948, to Pandurang Munde and Limbabai Munde in a middle class Vanjari (caste) farmer’s family. His wife Pradnya Munde is a sister of the late Pramod Mahajan. His family included his eldest sibling, sister Saraswati Karad, elder brother Pandit Anna, who is actively involved in social and political work. He was the third child in the family. He has two younger brothers, Manikrao and Venkatrao. Munde leaves behind three daughters — Pankaja, Pritam and Yashashri. Pankaja is an MLA. Pritam is a doctor, and Yashashri is studying law.

Munde attended a government primary school, in Nathra village, Beed district where classes were conducted under a tree. He later attended the Zila Parishad high school in Parali. He obtained a BA in commerce from a college in Ambejogai. He went on to study at the Indian Law Society College in Pune. Recently there was a controversy about Munde’s education. According to an affidavit submitted by him for the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, he claimed that he did his Bachelors degree from New Law College, Pune, in 1976. But the college was established in 1978. Munde defended his qualification, saying that the degree was issued by the Pune University and not by the college.

Munde entered mainstream politics after Mahajan, a friend and colleague in the college. As a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he took part in the agitation against the state of emergency imposed by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He was incarcerated in the Nashik central jail until the Emergency was lifted.

In 1971, he associated with the campaign of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (original avatar of the Bharatiya Janata Party) candidate in the Lok Sabha election in the Beed constituency. He attended the RSS’s Shiksha Varga (training camp) held in Pune that year. He soon became the Sambhajinagar Mandal Karyavah, looking after half a dozen shakhas of the Sangh, and subsequently, he was put in charge of its Pune City Students’ Cell. Later, he was made a member of the executive committee of the city RSS. The Janata Party by this time had split, and the BJP, founded by the leaders of the erstwhile had come into existence. Munde was made President of the Maharashtra unit of the BJP’s youth wing, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

He was Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha from 12 December 1991 to 14 1995. Munde was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra when the Manohar Joshi-led Government took over the reins of the state on 14 March 1995.

Munde served as a member of the 15th Lok Sabha (2009–2014), representing the Beed constituency. He won the 2014 Lok Sabha election from the Beed Constituency by a margin of 1.4 lakh. He defeated the NCP’s Suresh Dhas. He was appointed as Minister of Rural Development by Prime minister Narendra Modi.

Munde’s passing away makes it the second case of unnatural death in the family. Mahajan was shot at by his estranged brother Pravin Mahajan on 22 April 2006; the former Union minister succumbed to the injuries on 3 May that year.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasgupta
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sirf News Surajit Dasgupta has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life, the first national affairs editor of Swarajya, executive editor of Hindusthan Samachar and desk head of MyNation

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