BJP MLA Kiran Maheshwari dies after testing positive for COVID-19
Maheshwari, a three-time MLA from Rajsamand, was undergoing treatment at Medanta hospital for the past few days. She passed away late Sunday night.
She is the second MLA in Rajasthan who has died due to COVID-19. Last month, Congress MLA from Sahara constituency (Bhilwara) Kailash Trivedi had succumbed to the virus.
Maheshwari's funeral will be conducted on Tuesday, the BJP said.
Prime minister Narendra Modi, BJP president JP Nadda, Lok sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Assembly Speaker CP Joshi and several other leaders condoled her death.
"Pained by the untimely demise of Kiran Maheshwari Ji. Be it as MP, MLA or Cabinet Minister in the Rajasthan Government, she made numerous efforts to work towards the progress of the state and empower the poor as well as marginalised. Condolences to her family," the prime minister tweeted.
Gehlot also expressed grief over the demise of the BJP MLA.
"Saddened to know of the untimely demise of BJP leader & Rajsamand MLA Kiran Maheshwari ji. My heartfelt condolences to her family members & supporters in this most difficult time," he tweeted.
Saddened to know of the untimely demise of BJP leader & Rajsamand MLA Kiran Maheshwari ji. My heartfelt condolences… https://t.co/m4YWXeBo0Q— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) 1606702998000
Former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje in a video message said Maheshwari was an honest and a successful leader who did remarkable work while being an MP, MLA and a cabinet minister.
She said the BJP MLA's death is a loss not only for the Mewar region but for the entire Rajasthan.
Maheshwari started her political career in 1985 at the age of 24 and she was given an active role to mobilise women in support of the party in the 1990 assembly elections.
She became the chairperson of Udaipur Nagar Parishad in 1994, state president of BJP Mahila Morcha in 2000, first woman general secretary of BJP Rajasthan in 2003, national president of Mahila Morcha in 2006, BJP national general secretary in 2011 and party national vice president in 2013.
She became a member of Parliament in 2004 by defeating Congress leader Girija Vyas on Udaipur-Rajsamand seat.
Maheshwari was elected an MLA from Rajsamand for the first time in 2008 and she held the post of higher education minister in the former Vasundhara Raje government.
On the other hand, the number of MLAs in Rajasthan has come down from 200 to 197 after the deaths of three sitting MLAs in the recent days.
Apart from the BJP's Kiran Maheshwari and Congress's Kailash Trivedi, Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal, who was social justice and empowerment minister, and Congress MLA from Sujangarh (Churu) also passed away on November 16.