Former BJP chief and senior party leader Bangaru Laxman passed away on Saturday in Hyderbad after a period of prolonged illness.
Laxman, who was to turn 75 on March 17, was confined to a wheelchair for the past 12 years. He was not keeping well for some time due to a kidney ailment and died of cardiac arrest at 5 pm in Yashoda Hospital.
BJP’s president from 2000 to 2001, Bangaru was the target of Tehelka’s first sting operation in 2001 and was shown accepting a wad of currency from journalists posing as arms dealers,resulting in a major loss of face for the then NDA government.
Post the Tehelka sting, he was convicted by a court in 2012 under the Prevention of Corruption Act and was sentenced to four years in jail. A minister of state for Railways in the NDA government, Bangaru was later released on bail and was undergoing treatment in Hyderabad.
Born in a Dalit family in Andhra Pradesh, he joined politics at an early age and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1996. He was also jailed during the Emergency in 1975.
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Laxman Bangaru is survived by his wife Susheela Laxman Bangaru, who was a BJP member of 14th Lok Sabha and four children.