Senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh Dileep Singh Bhuria, one of the prominent tribal faces of the party, passed away after a brief illness at a hospital in Gurgaon on Wednesday.
He was 71 and is survived by wife, two sons and four daughters.
Mr Bhuria suffered a heart attack around a fortnight ago during a programme in his Parliamentary constituency Ratlam-Jhabua. He was initially admitted to a private hospital in Indore and later shifted to super speciality Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, family sources said.
The veteran politician, who turned 71 last week, was put on a ventilator after his condition deteriorated four days ago and this morning he suffered brain hemorrhage following which he died, they said.
Mr Bhuria started his political career with Congress and first made it to Parliament from Jhabua, a tribal-dominated district in Madhya Pradesh which he made his pocket-borough in 1980 when Indira Gandhi swept back to power at the Centre.
He won Jhabua Lok Sabha seat five times consecutively - from 1980 to 1996.
Born on June 19, 1944, Mr Bhuria began his legislative stint in the state in 1972 when he was elected MLA from Petlawad seat in Jhabua district.
However, following differences with Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh during his tenure as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister over the issue of appointing a tribal CM, he left the party and joined BJP.
In 1998, he suffered a rare defeat from Jhabua when he lost the seat to Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria.
The BJP leader, who had emerged as a prominent adivasi leader of the party in the state, won the seat again in last year's Lok Sabha elections.
He served as National SC/ST Commission Chairman during the Vajpayee government. Mr Bhuria also joined Gondwana Gantantra Party for a brief period.
His last rites will be performed at his ancestral village Macchlia in Jhabua district today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his Cabinet colleagues, Congress leaders Satyadev Katare and Ajay Singh, among others, expressed grief over the demise.