Top politicians who died before their time

Top politicians who died before their time

Gopinath Pandurang Munde, who could have become the first BJP Chief Minister in Maharashtra later this year, joins a list of senior leaders whom death snatched away when they were at the pinnacle of their political career.

Pramod Mahajan: A top BJP leader of his times and Munde’s brother-in-law, Pramod Mahajan also had a tragic end when his own brother Praveen shot him dead in his flat in Mumbai in 2006. Praveen later died of brain haemorrhage in jail in 2010.

Perished in mishaps

From the Congress’ Rajesh Pilot to party colleague Sahib Singh Verma and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, an array of political leaders have lost their lives to accidents, while leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were assassinated.

Munde, the 64-year-old BJP leader, is also one among ministers like Mohan Kumaramangalam (killed in an air crash in 1973), L N Mishra (killed in a bomb explosion in 1975) and R Kumaramangalam (died in 2000 from blood cancer) who breathed their last due to accidents when they were in the Union Cabinet.

-L N Mishra: Mishra was the first Union Minister to become the target of killers on January 3, 1975 when a bomb explosion took his life while he was at a function to declare open the Samastipur-Muzaffarpur broad gauge railway line. The killers are yet to be identified even as an investigation has been on for the past 38 years.

- M Kumaramangalam: A Communist theorist who later joined Congress and became a minister in the Indira Gandhi government, M Kumaramangalam died when an Indian Airlines plane crashed near Delhi airport on May 30, 1973.

Very few among the dead could be identified but the relatives of the minister managed to identify his body by means of a pen and his hearing aid. Incidentally, Kumaramangalam’s grandson and wife were in the ill-fated MH-370 of Malaysia Airlines that went missing in March this year and are yet to be traced.

-Rangarajan Kumaramangalam: Like his father, Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, a Congressman who later joined BJP and became a minister in the Vajpayee government, also died while in office at the age of 48 in 2000.

-Sanjay Gandhi, then a Congress MP, was another high-profile leader who lost his life when the plane he was flying crashed near Safdarjung Airport in New Delhi on June 23, 1980.

-Rajesh Pilot, a rising star in Congress, also met with a tragic end on June 11, 2000 when he died in car accident near Jaipur.

-Madhavrao Scindia: Rajesh Pilot’s contemporary and another prominent Congress leader, Madhavrao Scindia, also died in an air crash in Uttar Pradesh on September 30, 2001.

-G M C Balayogi: Like Reddy in 2009 and former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu (2011), then Lok Sabha Speaker G M C Balayogi (TDP) breathed his last in a helicopter crash in Andhra Pradesh in on March 3, 2002. Former Union Minister K Yerrain Naidu (TDP) also died in a road accident two years ago.

- Bhuma Shobha Nagi Reddy: A YSR Congress MLA Bhuma Shobha Nagi Reddy died in April this year in a road accident days before the Assembly elections.

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