Senior Chhattisgarh BJP leader and former MP Banshilal Mahto died of a liver-related ailment on Saturday, a party leader said here. Banshilal Mahto was 79. He is survived by his wife, two sons and four daughters.

He was admitted in a private hospital in Hyderabad on November 15 and died in the afternoon while being shifted in a critical condition to Korba. “As the air ambulance landed in Chakarbhata air strip in Bilaspur district, doctors declared him dead. His body is shifted to where his final rites will be done,” a party leader said.

An Ayurvedic doctor-turned-politician, Banshilal Mahto was elected to Lok Sabha in 2014 from Korba, though he was denied a ticket by the BJP for the 2019 general elections. Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and BJP leaders expressed grief.

In her condolence message, the governor said, “Mr Mahto was not only a popular politician but was also an eminent social worker. As a doctor, he was always committed to treat people. He had also contributed significantly in the field of education.”

BJP state president Vikram Usendi and former chief minister Raman Singh in their condolence messages said Banshilal Mahto contributed significantly in establishing the party in Korba area. Banshilal Mahto was an MP in the previous NDA government and served as a member of the Standing Committee on Coal and Steel and Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes.