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BJP leader Smriti Irani’s close aide Surendra Singh shot dead in Amethi

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Lucknow, May 26: A close aide of BJP leader Smriti Irani was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi district, with police not ruling out the possibility of it being a "political murder".

Surendra Singh (50), the former head of Baraulia village was shot at around 11.30 pm on Saturday.

File photo of Surendra Singh

Baraulia village was in news during campaigning in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, as 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.

He was referred to a Lucknow hospital but he succumbed during treatment, Ram said. Two suspects have been detained for questioning, police said.

Gandhi bastion falls to BJP's Smriti Irani

"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," said BJP convenor of Amethi Lok Sabha seat Rajesh Agrahari.

"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.

Amethi Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar did not rule out the possibility of the crime being a political murder. "The incident cannot be ruled out to be a political murder. All aspects are being probed. There can be old enmity as well," the SP said.

Irani has emerged as a giant-killer - a person who vanquished the biggest icon of dynastic politics, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, a three-term MP from Amethi, in the Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough.

She defeated the Congress chief and sitting MP Rahul Gandhi by a margin of 55,120 votes.

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