Congress veteran Vidya Charan Shukla passes away

Gurgaon, June 11 (ANI): Veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, who was critically injured in the May 25 Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, breathed his last at Gurgaon's Medanta Medicity Hospital this afternoon. He was 84.

Shukla, who sustained three bullets in his body, was earlier unable to breathe easily and had been kept on ventilator.

The Congress veteran's kidneys had stopped functioning and he was undergoing dialysis.

Heavily-armed Maoists had on May 25 ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in the state's Bastar district, killing 28 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and injuring 37 others.

Shukla was born on August 2, 1929 at Raipur. His father Pt. Ravishankar Shukla was a lawyer, freedom fighter, veteran Congressman, Premier of Central Provinces and Berar and the first Chief Minister of reorganised Madhya Pradesh.

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 Parliamentarians.

He returned elected to Lok Sabha nine 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 many portfolios including Communications, Home, Defence, Finance, Planning, Information and Broadcasting, Civil Supplies, External Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources. (ANI)