Naxal attack victim Shukla dies at hospital

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V.C Shukla, a former union minister and Congress veteran from Chhattisgarh, died on Tuesday in a Gurgaon hospital after battling injuries sustained in a deadly naxal attack on a convoy of party leaders on May 25, 2013.

“Mr. Shukla (84) died at 14:38 hours”, said Yatin Mehta, Chairman of Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology in the Medanta Medicity Hospital in nearby Gurgaon.

He said that Shukla developed multi-organ failure. Severe bullet injuries and old age were major risk factors in his case, Mr. Dr. Mehta said.

Mr. Shukla is survived by wife and three daughters .

Mr. Shukla was airlifted from Raipur and admitted to the hospital on May 26, a day after the attack which eliminated almost the entire top leadership of Chhattisgarh unit of Congress.

He had sustained severe bullet injuries and was brought in a critical condition.

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.

Maoists had ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district on Saturday, killing 27 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudaliyar and injuring Shukla and 36 others.

Shukla, son of illustrious lawyer, freedom fighter and veteran Congressman Ravishankar Shukla, was the first Chief Minister of the re-organised Madhya Pradesh.

Elected to 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 V.P. 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 V.P. 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.

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