Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik was injured while his wife and an aide were killed after his car hit a tree in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district on Monday evening, police said.
According to the police, the accident occurred at around 8 pm when Naik’s driver tried to negotiate a blind curve in mountainous terrain near Ankola and hit the tree on the road side.
The police said that Naik (68), who is also Minister of State for Defence, was shifted to the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim in Goa after first aid was given at a local government hospital, where his wife, Vijaya and his aide, Dipak Gume were declared dead.
“The family was on its way to visit to the Gante Ganapati temple (Bell Ganesha) in Yellapur taluk and then the Gokarn a temple,” the police said.
The police officer added that Naik may have visited Ankola to meet his wife’s relatives and this accident took place when they were going to visit temples thereafter.
“The vehicle appears to have lost control due to over speeding as the impact of the accident was such that when the vehicle hit the huge tree on the roadside, it rolled twice in the air, fell on the road and skidded some distance due to impact,” the police officer who was on the spot told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
The officer said that along with the minister, there were five others in the vehicle including his wife and the driver.
“Three others were injured but not critically,” the officer said.
NT REPORTER ADDS FROM PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that Shripad Naik “is stable and out of danger”. Hence, for now, there is no need to airlift him to Delhi for further medical treatment.
Sawant and others visited the GMC. He told media persons that as per the GMC doctors’ opinion there is no need to shift Naik to Delhi for now as his health condition is stable.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president J P Nadda are in touch with me. They have made all arrangements to airlift Shripad Naik to Delhi, if required,” he added. The Chief Minister said the Union AYUSH Minister will undergo a few tests. Later, two minor operations will be performed on Naik at the GMC.
Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar, Shripad Naik’s son Siddhesh Naik, former MP Narendra Sawaikar, BJP state president Sadanand Shet Tanavade and other leaders as well party workers and well wishers of the North Goa MP were present at the GMC.