Nikhil Khadse, 38, the son of Eknath Khadse, who is the leader of the opposition in the state legislative assembly, allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at his ancestral home in Jalgaon on Wednesday.
Police said Nikhil shot himself in the right temple with his licensed Llama pistol around 4.15pm in his bedroom. “No suicide note has been found,” said S Jayakumar, superintendent of police, Jalgaon.
A profusely bleeding Nikhil was taken to two different hospitals, where doctors pronounced him dead around 6.05pm. “His [Nikhil’s] wife and bodyguard were in the house when he shot himself. They rushed to the room on hearing the gunshot to find him lying on the floor covered in blood,” said RA Chandel, senior inspector at Muktainagar. He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter. Police are trying to find out the reason behind the suicide.
After he shot himself with his licensed revolver at Kothali in Jalgaon a little after 4 pm, Nikhil, 38, was taken to Godavari hospital on Bhusawal Road in Jalgaon. Doctors at the hospital, where he was admitted around 5.30pm, put him on life support, but declared him dead at 6.05pm.
Friends of the Khadse family and sources close to the BJP, said Nikhil had been depressed for more than a year because of ill-health and because his political career was going nowhere.
He had lost the legislative council elections to Manish Jain in 2010. This despite the BJP and ally Shiv Sena having adequate numbers. The defeat was understood to be a major setback to the Khadse family as the local political rivalry had played a major role in the elections.
Nikhil was a member of the Jalgaon Zilla Parishad, while his wife Raksha is head of the women and child welfare committee in the same local body. He is survived by two children, a son and daughter.
Eknath Khadse, who had left his house in the morning, was attending a wedding ceremony in his constituency at the time of the incident.
The funeral will take place on Thursday morning in Muktainagar, Jalgaon.
All senior party leaders are expected to attend the funeral on Thursday morning. Senior party leader Gopinath Munde said losing a son under such circumstances would be a shock for any father.
State unit chief of the party Devendra Fadnavis, who was in Nagpur on Wednesday evening, has left for Jalgaon. Ex-national head of the party Nitin Gadkari was in Jabalpur and is expected to attend the funeral.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has expressed his grief.