VC Shukla, injured in Maoist attack, dies

Vidya Charan Shukla, a former Congress minister at the centre, died on Tuesday in a Gurgaon hospital after battling injuries sustained in a deadly attack by Maoist outfits in Chhattisgarh a fortnight ago.

Shukla (84), who sustained severe bullet injury in the attack, died at 2.38 pm today.

Yatin Mehta, chairman of the Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology in the Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon, said Shukla developed multi-organ failure.

V C Shukla, a former union minister, is survived by wife and three daughters.

Shukla had shown marginal improvement a week ago but his condition deteriorated on Monday following an infection.

The Congress leader had undergone an operation at a Jagdalpur hospital for removal of the bullets prior to his shifting to Gurgaon.

Shukla was airlifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon from Raipur on 26 May, a day after the attack, which eliminated almost the entire top leadership of Chhattisgarh unit of the Congress.

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 since 1957, Shukla was minister of state for information and broadcasting under the late Indira Gandhi and had a controversial tenure in the ministry during the Emergency.

Later, he shifted allegiance to VP Singh's in the late 80s and joined the Jan Morcha in the run up to the Parliament elections in 1989.

Shukla became a minister in VP Singh government and later switched to Chandrashekhar to remain a minister in the shortlived JD (S) government.

He returned to Congress and became a minister of parliamentary affairs and water resources under late Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.