Senior BJP leader Dileep Singh Bhuria, who was the Lok Sabha MP from Ratlam-Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, died at a hospital in Gurgaon on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 71.
The tribal leader suffered a brain hemorrhage and heart attack and died at around 11 am, his family said. He was being treated for a cardiac ailment and lung infection.
Bhuria is survived by wife, two sons and four daughters.
Born on June 19, 1944, Bhuria was first elected as a legislator from Petlawad seat in 1972. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time from Jhabua constituency in 1980 on a Congress ticket. He won the seat five times from 1980 to 1996.
Bhuria left the Congress after developing differences with party general secretary and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh and joined the BJP.
In 1998, he lost his Lok Sabha seat to Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria but reclaimed it in the 2014 general election.
He also served as chairman of the National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government.
Bhuria's last rites will be conducted at his ancestral village of Macchlia in Jhabua district on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Bhuria’s death, saying the BJP had lost a veteran political leader who worked tirelessly for tribals.
"In the passing away of Shri Dileep Singh Bhuria, we have lost a veteran political leader who did immense work for tribal communities," he said in his condolence message.
Modi said Bhuria had years of legislative experience, both in Madhya Pradesh and at the national level, which was his major asset.