Wednesday, June 4 2014: In a tragic turn of events, newly elected Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde died on Tuesday morning after a road collision in New Delhi. The five-time MLA and Deputy Leader in the 15th Lok Sabha was a key ally to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the eight days he had served in office with a mandate to revitalise a stalled economy. Modi had entrusted the crucial task of spearheading a battle on poverty to Munde.
Gopinath Munde, 64, was on his way to the airport for a victory rally in his home state of Maharashtra in the early hours of Tuesday. He was seated in the back of his sedan when it was hit on the side by a Tata Indica and was thrown to the other side due to the impact of collision. Though he seemed to have suffered only minor injuries, he suffered a cardiac arrest due to the shock. Munde’s driver and personal assistant, who were travelling with him at the time, rushed him to the trauma centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. On admission, doctors could not find a pulse, blood pressure, spontaneous breathing or any signs of cardiac activity. Doctors tried to revive Munde for 50 minutes but he died in hospital.
"He suffered cervical fractures and the oxygen to his brain and lungs may have been cut off. His liver was ruptured and he lost1-2 litres of blood," said union health minister Harsh Vardhan.
The late minister is survived by wife Pradnya, who is the sister of senior BJP leader Late Pramod Mahajan, and three daughters – Pankaja, Pritam and Yashashri. The eldest daughter Pankaja Munde-Palve is active in state politics and is currently a state legislator from Parali, a constituency in the native Beed district in Marathwada region.