Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Pyarelal Khandelwal died here on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest at AIIMS.

Khandelwal, 84, was suffering from cancer and age-related ailments. He was shifted to AIIMS from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital five days back, party sources said.

He was in the news recently when he wrote a letter to party President Rajnath Singh criticising the expulsion of Jaswant Singh from the party for praising Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his book.

He had said in the letter that had Atal Bihari Vajpayee been active in politics this development would not have taken place.

Khandelwal had defeated former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh from Rajgarh to enter the Lok Sabha.

He was at present serving his second term in the Upper House.

He had earlier served the party as its national vice-president and was also a member of the Central Election Committee. He was a RSS pracharak who had worked extensively in building and strengthening the party in Madhya Pradesh.

The body will be flown to Bhopal where the last rites will be performed this evening.

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