Veteran parliamentarian, former union minister Kashiram Rana died following a massive heart attack in Ahmedabad on Friday. He was 75.
Rana had recently resigned from the BJP after association of over four decades and joined Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) floated by former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel against Narendra Modi-led BJP.
A member of the Lok Sabha for six consecutive terms, Rana had complained of pain in the chest in the middle of the night while he was staying at the circuit house here. He was rushed to Ahmedabad civil hospital where he died. Doctors at the hospital said that Rana suffered a massive heart attack which led to his death.
His colleague in the GPP and close friend Gordhan Zadafia said that Rana's body will be take to his native place in Surat where the late rites would be performed in the evening.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wrote on his Twitter account, "Sad to know of demise of Shri Kashiram Rana. Coming from a simple family, he rose to great heights & spent his life in service of the people."
Born on April 7, 1938, Rana was elected as MLA in Gujarat assembly for the first time in 1975 from Surat East seat. He was one of the 18 Jan Sangha candidates elected in that year.
After losing assembly elections in 1980 and 1985, Rana contested Lok Sabha elections in 1989 and won from Surat seat. From then onwards there was no looking back for the veteran leader who had a strong backing in Surat constituency.
Rana went on to win consecutive Lok Sabha elections held in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004 from the same constituency Surat.
He was made Union Textile minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He was the only Gujarati cabinet minister at that time in central government.
However, his political career got a big jolt when he was denied ticket by the BJP during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. It has been reportedly said that Rana was not given election ticket because of Modi. Following this Rana got further sidelined from the BJP party. He was not even seen at the local party function in Surat, a constituency which he had represented for two decades.
After prolong silence and remaining in oblivion Rana finally decided to leave his parent party BJP in July this year. He joined Keshubhai Patel and Zadafia in newly formed Gujarat Parivartan Party, and was recently made senior vice president of the party.