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Surender Singh, a former village head in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, who worked closely with BJP leader Smriti Irani during her Lok Sabha campaign, was shot dead on Saturday (May 25) night.

BJP worker Singh was attacked at his home; he died later at a hospital in Lucknow, where he was taken for treatment, said police. The motive behind his killing is not yet clear.

“He was shot around 3 am. We’ve taken a few suspects into custody and the probe is on. It can be due to an old dispute or a political dispute,” Amethi Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar said.

Surendra Singh was the former head of Baraulia village, who was adopted by ex-defence minister Manohar Parrikar in 2015 as a part of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, a central government scheme for rural development. He quit the village head post to participate in the BJP election campaign.

He had actively participated in Smriti Irani’s Lok Sabha campaign and had also earned praise from the BJP leader in her speeches at public meetings.

Smriti Irani defeated Congress chief Rahul Gandhi by over 55,000 votes in Amethi, his family bastion, is a major embarrassment for the party that faced a complete crash in the national elections. While the BJP won a dizzying mandate for a second term, Congress won just 52 of 542 parliamentary seats. Rahul Gandhi had been winning Amethi, a constituency that the party has not lost in about three decades.

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