New Delhi: Union Minister of Rural Development Gopinath Munde (64) died in a road accident in Delhi on Tuesday morning.

The accident happened at 6:30 am when he was on his way to Indira Gandhi International airport to fly to Mumbai. His car was hit by another vehicle at Prithviraj road-Tughlak road roundabout in the heart of the capital, said Union Minster Nitin Gadkari. He was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where doctors declared him dead around 7.20 am, said Gadkari.

Union Minister of Rural Development Gopinath Munde dead
Union Minister of Rural Development Gopinath Munde. File Pic

Though Munde did not suffer any injuries, he apparently suffered a shock in the impact of accident. Munde asked for water from his secretary, Nair, and asked him to take him to the hospital.

"Munde was brought to the emergency department of Jai Prakash Narain Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS at 6:30 am by his personal assistant and driver. Munde was sitting in the backseat of his car which was hit by another car or any other vehicle at around 6:20 am from the side he was sitting," Dr Amit Gupta of the Trauma Centre told reporters.

"On his arrival at the Trauma Centre, there was no spontaneous breathing, no blood pressure, no pulse, and no cardiac activity. So immediately Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was started and continued for the next 15 minutes. Despite resuscitative measures, Munde could not be revived and was declared dead at 7:20 am," he said.

The doctor said, "Munde was hypertensive and a sugar patient. He was already taking medicines. Right now there are no major external injuries on his body. We cannot say anything but clinically we might say that he had a sudden cardiac death."

Also see: Gopinath Munde: Life in pictures of the senior BJP leader

The body has been shifted to the mortuary for postmortem. A board has been formulated by the head of forensics to conduct the postmortem. As it is a medico-legal cause the reason for the death can only be ascertained after postmortem, the doctor said.

Munde's secretary S Nair said the Union Minister received a huge shock after the accident and apparently suffered a massive heart attack.

A senior police official said the offending vehicle was an Indica car which jumped the traffic signal at Aurobindo Chowk and collided with the Maruti Suzuki SX 4 in which Munde was travelling towards Safdarjung road from Prithviraj road. The Indica was coming towards Tughlaq road, a little over a km from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official residence, and hit Munde's car toward's the passenger side where Munde was sitting, he said, adding Munde fell on the seat immediately after the car was hit. The driver of the Indica car was detained from the spot and later arrested by police.

Also read: Driver arrested for collision with Gopinath Munde's car

Police said Munde had some minor aberrations on his nose. After the accident, Munde sought water and asked his driver to take him to the hospital, police said. Munde had only last night attended a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers called by the Prime Minister and was proceeding to Mumbai for work when the accident occurred.

According to reports, Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Dr Harsh Vardhan rushed to the hospital immediately after Munde was admitted.

Munde had a victory rally scheduled in his constituency Beed in Maharashtra.

Gadkari said that later Tuesday Munde's body would be taken to his native village, Parali in Beed district of Maharashtra, for the funeral Wednesday. He said that Munde's family members have arrived in Delhi. 

His body will be kept at the BJP headquarters between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm before being shifted to Latur.

Also read: Pall of gloom in Gopinath Munde's home town

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed shock at the sudden demise of Munde on Twitter. Here's what he has tweeted, "Extremely saddened & shocked by the demise of my friend & colleague Gopinath Munde ji. His demise is a major loss for the Nation & the Govt. Gopinath Munde ji was a true mass leader. Hailing from backward sections of society, he rose to great heights & tirelessly served people. My tributes to a dynamic leader whose premature demise leaves a void hard to fill. Condolences to Munde ji's family. We stand by them in this hour of grief." (sic).

Munde is survived by his wife Pradnya and three daughters, Pankaja, Pritam and Yashashri. Pankaja Palave is an MLA from Parli in Maharashtra's Beed district. A brother-in-law of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, Munde hailed from a poor family in the backward Marathwada region and was brought into politics by the late BJP leader Vasantrao Bhagwat, who also groomed several other leaders including Pramod Mahajan. He played a crucial role in cobbling alliance of the RPI, Swabhimani Shetkari Paksh and Rashtriya Samaj Paksh with the Shiv Sena-BJP in the state. 

He was Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha from 1992-1995 and was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 1995. Munde served as a member of the Lok Sabha (2009–2014), representing the Beed constituency. Munde won 2014 Lok Sabha election by a margin of 1.4 lakh votes from Beed constituency  after defeating NCP's Suresh Dhas and was appointed as Minister of Rural Development by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

National flag will be flown at half mast in Delhi, state capitals and Union Territories today as a mark of respect to the Union Minister who died early today.