Untimely death of MPs, ministers knock BJP's poll gain

Untimely death of MPs, ministers knock BJP's poll gain

By-elections after death of leaders have only brought loses

File photo of Union parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar.

A special meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra is scheduled to pass a condolence resolution late Monday night, making it the third such resolution under this regime.

Similar resolutions were passed when Union Minister for Environment Anil Madhav Dave died of cardiac arrest on May 18 last year, and Gopinath Munde died on June 3 in 2014 in a road accident in New Delhi soon after Modi government came to power.

Apart from Union Ministers, death has snatched many a talented MP from BJP as well in last four years at a time when the party has really scaled high in electoral success.

Many a time the sudden and untimely deaths of BJP lawmakers have also been followed by electoral losses in the constituencies represented by them. Most of the deceased were much below the 75-years cut off age for retiring from the ministry, decided by the BJP top brass.

BJP MP from Alwar Mahant Chandnath, who was suffering from cancer, passed away in New Delhi on September 17 last year. He was 61. In the by-election in February 2018, Congress wrested this seat from BJP. The party also lost Ajmer Lok Sabha seat, held by Sanwarlal Jat (62) when by-election was held after his death in 2018

In February this year, BJP's hardline Hindutva face - its MP from Kairana Hukum Singh, died of respiratory problems. In the bypoll months later, the BJP lost the Kairana seat to joint Opposition candidate, RLD’s Tabassum Hassan, who defeated the late Singh's daughter Mriganka.

Jolts too many

A similar story was repeated in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat of Punjab, represented by actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna. When by-election was held for the Parliamentary seat last year after Khanna’s death, Congress' Sunil Singh Jakhar, son of former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar, defeated the BJP candidate by a margin of around 2 lakh votes.

Eighty-two-year-old BJP MP from Begusarai in Bihar, Bhola Singh, died in October this year after a prolonged illness.

Some of these deaths were truly a bad jolt, sending the party’s political plans haywire. 

Loss to BJP

Ananth Kumar, who died at 59 on Monday, suffered from lung cancer detected some months back. Sixty-year-old Dave passed away in his sleep and it came to light only when his staff tried to wake him up. Kumar's passing away comes as a loss for the party to find a pan state face ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.

Munde, Union Minister for Rural Development, who had come to the national capital to attend Cabinet meeting, died on his way to board a flight to Mumbai to attend his victory celebration in his constituency Beed.

He died of cardiac arrest after a car rammed into his vehicle on the road. He was BJP’s face in Maharashtra having a mass following. However, Munde’s daughter Pritam Munde again won the seat for BJP in the by-election later.

The BJP had also retained Shahdol seat of Lok Sabha, where election was necessitated after the death of its MP Dalpat Singh Paraste.

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