V C Shukla succumbs to Maoist bullets

Had gunshot wounds in his chest, abdomen and thigh

V C Shukla succumbs  to Maoist bullets

Former Union Minister and veteran Congress leader V C Shukla died at a Gurgaon hospital after battling for life for about 15 days following bullet wounds received in a deadly Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh.

Shukla was 84. He is survived by his wife and three daughters. He had developed multiple organ failure.

Shukla was admitted to hospital after he got gun shotwoulds in his chest, abdomen and thigh in the Maoist attack on the Congress convoy in the Bastar region on May 25 and lost a lot of blood. State Congress leader Mahendra Karma, the proponent of “Salwa Judum” movement and state party chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son were killed in the ambush.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and others paid tributes to Shukla.

Shukla’s father, Pandit Ravishankar Shukla, was a lawyer, freedom fighter, veteran Congressman and the first chief minister of undivided Madhya Pradesh. His elder brother, Shyama Charan Shukla, was also a state chief minister.

V C Shukla had been Lok Sabha MP for nine times since 1957. Shukla had a controversial stint as Information and Broadcasting Minister during the Emergency era (1975-77) when he acted against journalists and went on to ban songs of Kishore Kumar on All India Radio for the singer’s refusal to perform in a Congress function.Shukla deserted the Congress for the first time in 1977 when Indira Gandhi was voted out.

Indira Gandhi’s son and then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, however, rehabilitated him after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 but Shukla again quit the party along with V P Singh to form the Jan Morcha in 1989.He was a minister in V P Singh’s National Front government formed after elections the same year but when it fell, he switched over to the Samajwadi Janata Party and was again a minister in the Chandrashekhar government.
After Chandrashekhar lost the 1991 elections, he came back to the Congress under then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao.

But he again left the Congress in 2003 after being denied the chief ministership of Chhattisgarh, when it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000. Shukla joined the Nationalist Congress Party in 2003.

The next year, just ahead of the 2004 parliamentary elections, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and contested from Mahamsamund on a party ticket but lost to Congressman and former chief minister Ajit Jogi.

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