A man, who had consumed poison before Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal last week after he suffered losses allegedly due to demonetisation and GST, today died during treatment in Dehradun, hospital sources said. Prakash Pandey, a resident of Haldwani, the largest city in the Kumaun region, had recounted his story to Uniyal during a Janata Darbar programme at the BJP office in the state capital on Saturday. Pandey had introduced himself as a transporter during the event. He told the minister that he was struggling to repay his loans after demonetisation of a bulk of currency and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax hit his business. He said he had to consume poison as his attempts to draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah through letters failed. When BJP workers realised Pandey had consumed poison, they rushed him in the minister’s car to Doon Hospital, from where he was later referred to Max Hospital in Dehradun.
Pandey today succumbed in the Intensive Care Unit of Max Hospital, the hospital sources said. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said he was sad to learn about Pandey’s death. “We have just been informed that Mr Pandey passed away at Max Hospital. It is extremely sad to hear this. Doctors attending him tried hard to save him.” Rawat said Pandey was on life support, but could not be saved “as he had taken more than the fatal dose of poison,” he told reporters.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said the death was a “shameful” incident for the state government. “Pandey represented scores of people struggling to support their families. It is a matter of shame for the state government that it could not do anything to save the man. He has fallen victim to GST and demonetisation,” he said. Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt said the “painful incident” should not have happened. “As Pradesh BJP president I can only say we all stand by his family,” he said.