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Jaipur(PTI): Former Janata Dal MLA Gurcharan Chabbra, who was on a fast-unto-death demanding liquor ban and strengthening of Lokayukta in Rajasthan, on Tuesday died at a hospital.
The 65-year-old anti-liquor crusader, who was on fast since October 2, passed away in the wee hour. He had been admitted to SMS hospital here a fortnight ago and was in coma for the last couple of days.
Chabbra’s death triggered a blame game between BJP and Congress whose leaders held each other responsible for the Gandhian leader’s demise.
Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot said Chhabra’s life could have been saved if CM Vasundhara Raje had intervened to get the agitation called off.
“This is very unfortunate and will be remembered as a case in Rajasthan’s history when a man had to sacrifice his life for the sake of public interest instead of personal interest,” Gehlot, who had visited Chabbra last night when he was in critical condition, said.
Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, while expressing condolence over the demise of the former Janta Party MLA who had undertaken the hunger strike for the fourth time, also held the state government responsible for his death.
“It is very unfortunate that a Gandhian leader died due to anshan (hunger strike) which he began on October 2. The Rajasthan government had promised to look into his demand but no step was initiated.
“Chhabra had to sit on the agitation because the state government did not take any initiative to fulfill his demands despite assurance in written. He would have been among us if the government had taken any initiative,” he said.
Holding the Raje-led BJP government of being “solely responsible” for Chabbra’s death, PCC vice-president Archana Sharma alleged that the state government ignored Chhabra and his demands which ultimately led to his demise.
Reacting to Congress leaders’ allegations, BJP state president Ashok Parnami claimed the government had fulfilled nearly 90 per cent of the demands of Chhabra and blamed former CM Gehlot for his demise.
Asking Gehlot to answer as to why he did not take a decision to fulfill Chhabra’s demand during his tenure, he said, “Chhabra was on anshan two times during the Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot. Why did he not fulfill his demands then? Chhabra would not have died if Gehlot had accepted his demands when he was the chief minister.
“Former Congress government is responsible for Chhabra’s death,” he said.