January 20, 2021 10:54:46 am
Gajendra Singh Shaktawat, Congress MLA from Vallabhnagar in Udaipur district and a staunch loyalist of former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, passed away on Wednesday after prolonged illness. Shaktawat was one of the 18 Congress MLAs who sided with Pilot during the political crisis in Rajasthan last year.
Sources in the Congress said Shaktawat, who was in his late 40s, was undergoing treatment in Delhi where he passed away.
“Shaktawat was undergoing treatment in Delhi for the last one and half months. He was suffering from jaundice, which had worsened, and had tested positive of Covid-19 as well. He was declared dead this morning,” said Pankaj Sharma, former spokesperson of Congress from Udaipur district.
Pilot expressed his condolences over the passing away of Shaktawat. “I am deeply saddened by the devastating news of the passing away of my colleague and MLA Shri Gajendra Singh Shaktawat ji. He was a humble and a kind soul, always dedicated towards the development of his constituency. My heartfelt condolences to his family,” Pilot tweeted.
I am deeply saddened by the devastating news of the passing away of my colleague & MLA Shri Gajendra Singh Shaktawat ji. He was a humble and a kind soul, always dedicated towards the development of his constituency. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) January 20, 2021
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Shaktawat had been ill for a long time, and that he was in touch with the family and doctors for the last 15 days.
ईश्वर से प्रार्थना है शोकाकुल परिजनों को इस बेहद कठिन समय में सम्बल दें एवं दिवंगत आत्मा को शांति प्रदान करें। #Rajasthan
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) January 20, 2021
During the political crisis last year, Shaktawat, whose father was also a senior leader of the Congress, had told The Indian Express that if the Congress party issues a whip, he and the other MLAs would attend the Assembly session, which he subsequently did along with the other MLAs and Pilot after a truce was brokered by the central leadership between the two warring camps.
Shaktawat had camped in Haryana along with the other Pilot loyalists and, through videos on social media, had consistently expressed his support for Pilot.
“All we wanted was a change in leadership. A person who worked hard for six years to form the government in Rajasthan, you abuse him by calling him nikamma… This is a battle of self-respect. You are abusing your own family members. We have never spoken with anybody from the BJP. We don’t want to leave the Congress,” Shaktawat had told The Indian Express.
Shaktawat’s father, late Gulab Singh Shaktawat, was a key Congress leader who was elected multiple times from the Vallabnagar Assembly seat.
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