BJP MP and senior leader Smriti Irani reached her constituency, Amethi, to meet the family of Surendra Singh – ex-village head of Baraulia and Irani’s close aide – who was was shot dead by two unidentified men at around 11.30 pm on Saturday, 25 May.
Speaking to ANI, Irani said, “I have taken an oath before Surendra Singh ji’s family that we will ensure justice and the strictest action against the one who fired at him and the one who ordered it. We will knock at the door of the Supreme Court if the need arises.”
Amethi’s superintendent of police said that some suspects have been arrested and added that the possibility of the crime being a political murder could not be ruled out.
Singh was rushed to a trauma centre in Lucknow in a serious condition and he succumbed to his injuries during treatment. Locals claim that he was considered close to Irani and he was involved in the distribution of footwear.
According to an NDTV report, Singh quit the post of the village head to campaign for BJP, including for party leader Smriti Irani. The latter often praised him in her speeches.
Surendra Singh’s Son: ‘We Have Suspicions on Some People’
His son told the media,
"“My father was a close aide of Smriti Irani and used to campaign 24/7. After she (Smriti) became MP, Vijay Yatra was carried out. I think some Congress supporters didn’t like it. We have suspicions on some people.”" - Surendra Singh’s Son
The Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Keshav Prasad Maurya said, "The death of a party worker is indeed very sad and unfortunate. He was a hard worker. Even if his killers are hiding below the ground, they will be caught. The entire Amethi is sad over the incident."
UP minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said there's no place for violence in a democracy and demanded strict action against the killers, reported PTI.
BJP convenor of Amethi Lok Sabha seat Rajesh Agrahari told PTI, “Considering the fact that the Congress is disappointed, especially after the defeat of its party president in Amethi, a high-level probe should be ordered, and the guilty should be punished.”
Surendra Singh was the former head of Baraulia village, which was adopted by ex-defence minister Manohar Parrikar in 2015 as a part of a scheme for rural development. It was in the news during campaigning in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, as Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had accused Smriti Irani of distributing shoes to the residents in order to insult Rahul Gandhi.
“Surendra Singh was a popular and active grassroots level leader, and a close aide of MP Smriti Irani. He and other party leaders were actively involved in distribution of shoes,” Rajesh Agrahari said.
While Amethi’s superintendent of police said that the possibility of the crime being a political murder could not be ruled out, it could be old enmity as well.
In the 2019 general elections, the Congress’ Rahul Gandhi lost the party's stronghold Amethi to BJP's Smriti Irani by 55,120 votes.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI and NDTV.)
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