Mohan S. Delkar, the seven-time MP from the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, may have been under immense political duress for the past one year or so which probably drove him to the extreme step of taking his own life, suggest recent developments.
Depending on the political climate, the 58-year-old parliamentarian had swung from the Congress to the BJP and also as an independent to ensure his long winning spree to the Lok Sabha.
After he won the 2019 Lok Sabha election as an independent, shocking both the Congress and BJP, Delkar had publicly claimed that he was at the receiving end of the powers that be in the UT and New Delhi.
In a detailed tell-all video released around mid-2020, Delkar had taken his constituents into confidence and threatened to resign from his Lok Sabha seat as he could no longer bear the insults and humiliating treatment continuously meted out to him.
Though he took care to refrain from direct attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, Delkar is clearly seen targeting the BJP in the video.
“All my efforts to get justice for my constituents are blocked and stonewalled by these people. They are even trying to frame me in fake cases, my supporters, the organisations I run or work for are targeted and the people in it are also hounded,” said Delkar.
Several times, when he asked the reasons behind the apparent witch-hunt, the officials bluntly told him – “Upar Se Order Aaya Hai” – for their actions against him or his supporters.
The prominent tribal leader further alleged that BJP leaders, the bureaucracy, police, investigating agencies and local goons were constantly harassing or browbeating him at all levels.
“This is the reason why even during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, I could not do anything for my people though they were rendered jobless, their children thrown to the streets, and they had no food to eat,” said Delkar.
“People with many charges against them are protected as they belong to the ruling party, but those opposing them are targeted on the flimsiest grounds. We have never witnessed such a situation ever before. This is worse than British rule,” he rued.
“In the next Lok Sabha session, I will tender my resignation. I will explain everything in Parliament, why a 7-term MP was compelled to resign like this,” Delkar had threatened.
After grabbing the Parliament seat as an independent, the MP seemed to have needled the BJP by entering into a strategic tie-up with the Janata Dal (U), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which became the winning combination for the local bodies elections last year.
After the video, Delkar had repeated near-similar charges even in a speech in the Lok Sabha, accusing the UT officialdom of harassment, insults, depriving him of addressing the people of his constituency, and attempts to book him in fake cases during the Covid-19 pandemic, which ruined his efforts to arrange the necessary aid to his constituents.
In a tragic end which stunned national political circles, Delkar travelled to Mumbai late on Sunday, checked into a hotel and committed ‘suicide’ by hanging himself in the room on Monday.
Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant has said he will demand a thorough investigation into the role of the BJP behind Delkar’s extreme step.
Sandwiched between Maharashtra and Gujarat, Dadra & Nagar Haveli spread across 603 sq kms – almost equal to Mumbai – houses a sparse population of barely 600,000, compared with the 18 million people crammed into the country’s commercial capital.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at email@example.com)