The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s former state legislator from Rajpura Raj Khurana, 65, died following prolonged illness at a private hospital in Gurgaon early Monday morning.
He was cremated later in the afternoon at Rajpura in presence of a large gathering. BJP state secretary Dr Subhash Sharma, sitting Congress MLA Hardial Singh Kamboj and senior officials of the local administration were among those present.
Khurana was suffering from lung and kidney infection for the past six months. He had undergone kidney transplant in Gurgaon about two weeks ago.
Khurana had a long innings in Punjab politics, which began in 1992 when he was first elected as the Rajpura MLA on the Congress ticket.
After losing in 1997, he again claimed the seat in a closely-fought electoral battle against the BJP’s Balram Das Tandon in 2002. In 2006, he joined the BJP and retained the seat during the 2007 polls.
The former legislator is remembered for all-round development of the town. However, he had his share of controversies. He was arrested in 2011 on graft charge by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and regularly faced trials for the next three years. This majorly led to his defeat against Kamboj in 2012, and since then he was not much active in politics.
With his demise, the seat is now open for other party leaders with several names already floating before the coming assembly elections.
Condoling Khurana’s death, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal called him a “disciplined soldier” of the BJP, who worked relentlessly for uplifting disadvantaged sections of society, besides ensuring development of the region.
In a statement, the CM expressed his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family members. Khurana is survived by wife, son and two daughters.
Blurb: Had lung, kidney infection; won on Cong ticket in 1992, 2002; retained seat in 2007 after moving to BJP