Delhi BJP MLA commits suicide (Lead)November 16th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Puran Chand Yogi, who was seeking re-election in the Delhi assembly polls, committed suicide early Sunday morning at his Inderpuri home, police said. Yogi, 73, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his house in west Delhi at around 7.30 a.m. by his wife Asha, a police official said.
Yogi was a three-time legislator from Rajinder Nagar in central Delhi and was seeking re-election in the Nov 29 polls. Yogi is survived by his wife, a daughter and son.
According to police officials, Yogi was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his first floor room where his election material was kept by his wife when she went to look him up as his mobile phone was ringing continuously.
The police said that Yogi had got up at 5.30 a.m. and followed his normal schedule. “At around 7.30 a.m. his wife called out to him as his phone was ringing, but he did not respond. So she went upstairs to look for him and found him hanging from the ceiling fan. She immediately informed other family members and police,” a police official said.
Rajan Bhagat, Delhi Police spokesperson, said: “We have sufficient evidence to claim that Yogi committed suicide. Though we did not recover any suicide note from the house but preliminary investigations reveal that it was a case of suicide. We have sent the body for post-mortem and its report is awaited.”
However, Yogi’s family and party workers maintained that the MLA had died due to a heart attack.
“He died of cardiac arrest because of the hectic schedule he is following these days for the polls. We had even called a nearby doctor and an ambulance but he was declared bought dead,” said Yogi’s son Rajeev.
Senior BJP leader and the party’s chief ministerial candidate V.K. Malhotra visited Yogi’s residence.
Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Satbir Silas Bedi told IANS that polls to the seat could be held at a later date.
Bedi said they were in consultations with senior BJP leaders to find a new candidate for Rajinder Nagar.
This is the first time that a sitting MLA has taken such a drastic step. “Neither have I heard anything like this in my political career nor am I able to believe that a politician like Puran Chand Yogi could have done something like this,” Dr. Harshvardhan, Delhi BJP Chief told IANS.
Vijay Goel, Delhi BJP leader, said: “It is a shock for me and our party. I just fail to understand what drove him to take such a drastic step. He had been in a bit of tension earlier as the party had yet to decide to give him a ticket from Rajinder Nagar, but the party gave him a chance again.”
Harkishan Singh Balli, another BJP leader, said: “Yogi was a gem of a person. He used to work among the people and was very popular in his constituency.”
Meanwhile, Vijay Jolly, BJP leader suspended his election campaign and termed Yogi as a true “Karamyogi and swayamsevak” of the common man.
Police are questioning the family members of Yogi and further investigations are on.
Born in Gujaranwala district of Pakistan in 1935, Yogi had been active in politics since 1967 and was part of RSS. He was first elected to the assembly in 1993 and was re-elected in 1998 and 2003.
Before joining politics, he worked with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation till 1990, when he took voluntary retirement and joined the BJP.
His close friend Jagdish Mamgai attributed his consecutive successes to his luck. “He won all three times because of the division of votes. Mostly, the Congress suffered because their angry leaders stood divided and ate into the party votes,” Mamgai said.
In the last assembly elections, he had defeated Raj Kumar Kohli of Congress by 891 votes.