New Delhi: Congress leader and former union minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who was critically injured in a deadly Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh on May 25, was declared dead on Tuesday. The 84-year-old Congress veteran had suffered bullet injuries in his abdomen and had been airlifted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon for treatment after the attack.
Yatin Mehta, Chairman of Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology in the Medanta Medicity Hospital, said that Shukla developed multi-organ failure. Severe bullet injury and old age were major risk factors in his case, Mehta said.
With Shukla's death, the toll in the May 25 Naxal attack has gone up to 27. PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudaliyar were also among those who died in the attack.
Shukla had shown marginal improvement a week ago but his condition deteriorated again following an infection. Prior to his shift to Gurgaon, Shukla had undergone an operation at a Jagdalpur hospital for removal of the bullets.
Shukla is survived by wife and three daughters. He was the Information and Broadcasting Minister during Emergency and was considered to be close to late former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Shukla, son of illustrious lawyer, freedom fighter and veteran Congressman Ravishankar Shukla, was the first Chief Minister of the re-organized Madhya Pradesh. Elected to the Lok Sabha nine times, the first time in 1957, he was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting under the late Mrs Indira Gandhi and had a controversial tenure in the ministry during the Emergency.
He had sided with VP Singh in the late 80s and joined the Jan Morcha in the run up to the Parliament elections in 1989. Shukla became a minister in VP Singh government and later switched to Chandrashekhar to remain a minister in the shortlived JD(S) government. Then he returned to Congress and became a Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.
(With additional information from PTI)