Days after the BJP's thumping victory in Amethi in the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections, Smriti Irani's close aide and former head of Baraulia village, Surendra Singh, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at his residence on Saturday night. Baraulia village is within the Jamo police station limits. According to reports, unidentified miscreants on motorbikes opened fire on the Baraulia village head after he returned from a function and he was asleep outside his home.
“Intensive investigation underway. We've found vital clues.7 people detained for questioning. We're confident of solving the case in the next 12 hours. 3 companies of PAC are deputed, no law and order situation,” OP Singh, UP DGP said.
Surendra Singh was part of the BJP team that worked on the ground in Amethi ahead of the elections. Irani reportedly identified him as a key party worker. The police are ascertaining the actual motive behind the murder and have detained two persons. They are also trying to establish into past enmities, not ruling out political rivalry.
Singh was taken to the district hospital for treatment, where doctors referred him to a Lucknow hospital. He succumbed to his gunshot wounds at the trauma centre of the Lucknow hospital.
Reacting to the incident, Surendra Singh's son said, "My father was a close aide of Smriti Irani and used to campaign 24/7. After she became MP, Vijay Yatra was carried out. I think some Congress supporters didn't like it,we have suspicions on some people."
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had accused Smriti Irani of distributing shoes to the residents in order to insult Rahul Gandhi. Locals claim that Surendra Singh was considered close to Irani and he was involved in the distribution of footwear, according to news agency PTI.
BJP convenor of Amethi Lok Sabha seat Rajesh Agrahari told PTI, “Considering the fact that the Congress is disappointed, especially after the defeat of its party president in Amethi, a high-level probe should be ordered, and the guilty should be punished.”
“Surendra Singh was a popular and active grassroots level leader, and a close aide of MP Smriti Irani. He and other party leaders were actively involved in distribution of shoes,” he added.
Former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar had adopted Singh's Baraulia village in September 2015. Rs 15 crore was sanctioned for the development of the village. Reports said the circulation of large sums of money is an angle investigators are looking into, according to Firsrpost report.
Smriti Irani on Friday won the Amethi parliamentary seat by overtaking Congress chief Rahul Gandhi with a margin of 55,120 votes. Irani polled a total of 4,67,598 votes. Amethi is considered a stronghold of the Congress party since years. Gandhi has been winning on the seat since 2004.
Despite the poor performance of the party in 2014 general elections at the Centre, the Congress president had defeated Irani on the seat with a margin of 1,07,903 votes.