Smriti Irani rushed to Amethi on Sunday to pay last respects to her close aide Surendra Singh who was murdered on Saturday, two days after the former Union Minister won from the seat in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections.
Bowing down to Singh's mortal remains and an emotional Irani then went to pay tribute to him by showering flowers. She then shouldered her close aide's last remains and joined the locals and the family in their grief.
The entire village had gathered to honour the former village chief ahead of his final journey.
A close aide of Smriti Irani, the newly elected MP from Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, was shot dead by two men, with police not ruling out the possibility of it being a "political murder". The BJP has asked for a high-level probe.
Surendra Singh (50), a former head of Baraulia village, was shot at around 11.30pm Saturday, said Additional Superintendent of Police Daya Ram. He was referred to a Lucknow hospital but he succumbed during treatment, Ram said.
Two suspects have been detained for questioning, police said.
Baraulia was in the news during the general election campaign after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused Irani of distributing shoes to the village residents in order to insult Rahul Gandhi, the BJP leader's main opponent in the constituency.
Irani defeated the Congress president on Amethi seat, for long a Gandhi family bastion.
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.
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.
(With agency inputs)