BJP candidate shot dead after Madhya Pradesh polling


Bhopal : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Sunil Nayak, a former Madhya Pradesh minister, was shot dead Thursday near a polling booth allegedly by a Congress leader’s brother at Tikamgarh district’s Prithvipur assembly constituency after voting was over, an official said.

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Indefinite curfew was clamped in Prithvipur constituency area as hundreds of people took to the streets on hearing about Nayak’s murder.

“Nayak was contesting on a BJP ticket. He received gunshots in his head and neck and died on way to Jhansi where he was being rushed for treatment,” Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer J.S. Mathur said, adding that the incident occurred around 5.40 p.m.

Asked about the validity of the elections in Prithvipur, Mathur said though the votes polled would be counted, later a bypoll would be held.

Nayak, though contesting on a BJP ticket, was a former aide of Bharatiya Jan Shakti (BJS) party’s founder-president Uma Bharati.

Soon after getting the report of Nayak’s murder, Bharati took to the streets and blocked traffic outside the police station at Nayakhera where the shooting occurred.

“Nayak was a nice person and has been associated with me for long. He always stood for the poor and the downtrodden and fought for them with bravery,” said Bharati.

Congress candidate from Prithvipur, Brijendra Singh Rathore’s brother Yashpal Rathore, was alleged to have shot at Nayak. He was arrested on the charge of murder, said Tikamgarh Collector K.P. Rahi.

“Nayak sustained serious injuries in the neck and the left leg. He was immediately taken for the Jhansi Medical College but he succumbed to his injuries on way,” said Rahi.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed grief over Nayak’s murder. “Nayak has been an efficient minister and active member of the assembly,” he said.

The legislative assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, which is among the four Hindi heartland states going to polls in staggered phases, concluded Thursday with about 60 percent of the over 36 million voters turning up to exercise their franchise.