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BJP leader Arif Baig passes away

Statesman News Service |

Former union minister and senior BJP leader Arif Baig died here on Monday after suffering a heart attack, his family said.

He was 81 and is survived by two sons and five daughters.

Baig, who was suffering from blood sugar, died at his home due to sudden heart failure around 9 AM, his younger son Noorul Hasan Baig said.

The two-term Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh, Baig was first elected to the lower house from Bhopal on Bhartiya Lok Dal ticket in 1977 by defeating Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma, who later became President.

Thereafter, he was made the Union Minister, Hasan said.

He was again elected to Lok Sabha on BJP ticket by defeating Aslam Sher Khan of Congress from Betul in 1989, his son said.

Baig had left the BJP in 1996 to join Congress, but could not gel with that party. He rejoined BJP in 2003 and in 2013 fought his last polls from Bhopal North Assembly seat unsuccessfully, his son said.

Hasan said his father was jailed for 19 months during emergency in 1975 along with senior BJP leaders, Kushabhau Thakre and many others.

Baig would be laid to rest tonight at his ancestral graveyard near Central Library, Bharat Talkies, Bhopal, Hasan added.