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Chhattisgarh Naxal attack plunges state Congress party in crisis

The state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son were killed in the attack.


Updated:May 27, 2013, 1:24 PM IST
Chhattisgarh Naxal attack plunges state Congress party in crisis
The state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son were killed in the attack.

Raipur: The killing of a substantial part of the Congress leadership in Chhattisgarh has plunged the party in the state into a crisis. The state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son were killed in the attack, Salwa Judum's Mahendra Karma, who was the main target, was a former Home Minister in the state and finally, veteran Congress leader VC Shukla, a former chief minister and union minister is still battling for his life.


He was the leader of the opposition in the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha from 2004 to 2008. In 2005, he played a top role in organising the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites (Maoists) in Chhattisgarh. He was a Minister of Industry and Commerce in the Ajit Jogi cabinet since the state formation in 2000 to 2004. He was assassinated by Naxalites on May 25, 2013 in a Maoist attack while returning from a Parivartan Rally meeting organised by his party in Sukma.

Karma started his political career as a leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and later joined the Congress. He won the Lok Sabha elections from Bastar and the assembly elections from Dantewada.

He had served as the Minister of Industry and Commerce after the Chhattisgarh was carved out from its parent state Madhya Pradesh in the Ajit Jogi cabinet though he was known as a political adversary of Jogi. In 2003, his party Indian National Congress suffered defeat in the legislative assembly elections and he was made the leader of opposition in the state assembly. He used to represent Dantewada constituency. He lost the 2008 assembly elections when BJP swept 10 out of the 11 seats in Bastar.


For the general elections in 1957 the Congress Party chose him as their Lok Sabha candidate from Mahasamund constituency. He won with a thumping majority and entered the Parliament of India as one of the youngest Parliamentarian.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was happy to meet this young, promising Congressman from Madhya Pradesh. He returned elected to Lok Sabha 9 times in subsequent elections.

When Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1966 she chose him as a Minister in her Cabinet. In a long span of political career he has held virtually all portfolios including Communications, Home, Defence, Finance, Planning, Information & Broadcasting, Civil Supplies, External Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources.

During the time of Indian Emergency (1975-1977), being the Information and broadcasting minister of India, he banned the songs of Kishore Kumar from All India Radio and Doordarshan from May 4th, 1976 till the end of the Emergency, because he refused to sing for an Indian National Congress rally in Mumbai


In November 12, 2000, Patel was sworn-in as minister in Chhattisgarh state government. From November 2000 to December 2003 he worked as cabinet minister of home, jail, transport and aviation department in state government of Chhattisgarh

Patel was member of political affair committee, high level coordination committee and Business Advisory Committee in the state government. On December 4, 2003, he was elected as legislator from Kharsia constituency for the Chhattisgarh legislative assembly in India.

From April 2004 to March 2005 he was member in committee on privileges in Chhattisgarh legislative assembly. From March 2005 to March 2006 he was member in Committee on Government Undertakings, Library Committee and Business Advisory committee and in February 2006, he was member of All India Congress Committee, New Delhi.

From March 2006 to March 2007, Shukla was member of Business Advisory Committee amd Committee on Estimates in Chhattisgarh legislative Assembly. In December 8, 2008 he was elected as MLA. from Kharsia constituency for the Chhattisgarh legislative assembly for the fifth time.

From April 2009 to 31 March 2011, he had been working as Chairman of Public Account on Chhattisgarh legislative Assembly. He was appointed as President of Chhattisgarh Congress on 15 April 2011.

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