Rajya Sabha MP and Gujarat BJP leader Abhay Bharadwaj passed away on Tuesday while undergoing treatment for coronavirus at a Chennai hospital, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. He died during post-COVID-19 severe pneumonia care due to multi-organ failure and his lungs were completely destroyed due to the infection, the hospital said.
Bharadwaj (66), a prominent lawyer, was elected to the upper House of Parliament in June this year. He had tested positive for the virus in August, after attending party meetings and a roadshow in Rajkot.
The MP was first admitted to the government-run COVID hospital in Rajkot and put on artificial lung support. A team of senior doctors later flew to Rajkot and on their suggestion, Bharadwaj was put on extraporeal membrane oxygenation therapy to improve his oxygen saturation levels, a doctor said.
MGM Healthcare said that Bharadwaj, admitted to the hospital "for post Covid severe pneumonia since October 9, was on total life support and his lungs were completely destroyed due to Covid." In a further setback, despite maximal life support, he "developed multi-organ failure and with profound grief, we regret to inform that he passed away at 4.35 PM," the hospital's Assistant Director of Medical Services Dr Anuradha Baskaran said in a statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the demise of the MP from his home state. "Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Shri Abhay Bharadwaj Ji was a distinguished lawyer and remained at the forefront of serving society. It is sad we have lost a bright and insightful mind, passionate about national development.
Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti," Modi tweeted. Former Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia also expressed anguish over the death of Bharadwaj.
"Condolences to grieving family of recently elected RS MP from Gujarat Shri Abhay Bharadwaj ji @BharadwajAbhay It is indeed unfortunate for people of Gujarat to have lost another voice and representation in the Rajya Sabha. May the departed soul find peace in Almighty's Heaven," he tweeted.
(With inputs from PTI)