Govind M. Rathod, a newly elected BJP legislator from Mudkhed in Maharashtra’s Nanded district, died following a massive heart attack early Monday, a party official said.
“It is very sad. He suffered a heart attack while travelling in a train and later expired,” said state BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari.
Rathod was travelling by the Devgiri Expess Sunday night to come to Mumbai for the scheduled BJP Legislature Party meeting on Tuesday to elect the leader who will be the next chief minister of Maharashtra.
Around 10.30 p.m., he is believed to have suffered chest pain and a massive attack somewhere near Jalna and succumbed later.
In the Oct 15 assembly elections, Rathod defeated his nearest Congress rival H.B.V. Patil with a margin of 73,291 votes in the latter’s Congress bastion.
In the current political situation in the state, the legislator’s sudden death has dealt a blow to the BJP struggling to cobble up a coalition government or form a minority government with external support.
With Rathod’s death, the strength of BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 122 legislators, has been reduced to 121, plus one seat of a pre-poll ally.
This will necessitate at least 23 votes for achieving the simple majority of 145 in the 288-strong Maharashtra assembly.
The new government – the composition of which is still not clear – is expected to be sworn-in Oct 30 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, and over 30,000 other VVIPS, guests and party leaders from around the country.