NEW DELHI: Tragedy struck the Narendra Modi-led NDA-II early in its tenure. A week into his new assignment as Union Rural Development Minister, Gopinath Munde was scheduled to attend a felicitation event at his native Beed district in Maharashtra on Tuesday evening. As he was headed to the IGI Airport in Delhi in the morning to board a flight back home, a speeding car collided with his vehicle, killing him before he reached the hospital. He was 64.
Munde was set to lead the party’s campaign for the Assembly polls in the State in December, and could have been the BJP’s CM choice.
Ironically, Munde was the only one to suffer internal injuries in the collision that took place at the Prithviraj Road–Safdarjung Road intersection in Lutyens Delhi. He was sitting in the backseat of his Maruti SX4 car reading a newspaper, when an Indica, driven by a person called Gurvinder Singh, hit it. Munde hit the driver’s seat fracturing his spinal cord and it apparently blocked oxygen supply to his brain, Union Health Minister Harshvardhan said revealing findings of the autopsy report.
But Munde did not immediately lose consciousness. “He asked his PA Nair for water and asked him to take him to a hospital immediately,” said Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. He also rushed to the hospital on hearing about the incident. At the super-specialty trauma centre attached to AIIMS, doctors tried for 50 minutes to revive Munde but declared him dead as there was “no spontaneous breathing, no blood pressure, no pulse, no cardiac activity”.
Munde is survived by his wife and three daughters.