Ahmedabad, Jun 28: Former Union minister of state and the first woman to get elected to the Lower House (Lok Sabha) from Gujarat for four consecutive terms, Bhavna Chikhalia died today following a cardiac arrest in a private hospital here, hospital authorities said.
Hospital authorities said that Bhavna Chikhalia (59) was transferred to Sterling Hospital in city from HCG Medisurge Hospital in the city last evening in a very critical condition (post-operative status).
She died due to what hospital authorities termed as "cardio-respiratory arrest in a case of acute renal failure and multi-organ failure".
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi condoled her demise, calling her a dedicated party worker.
"Sad to know of demise of former Union Minister Bhavnaben Chikhalia. We have lost a dedicated karyakarta in her. May her soul rest in peace," Modi tweeted on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
She was union minister of state for tourism, culture and parliamentary affairs from 1998-2003 in the NDA government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee. She was also the chairperson of the Railway Convention Committee from 1999-02.
She was a member of the 86-member campaign committee, announced by BJP state president R C Faldu, for the Gujarat assembly polls last December. BJP state spokesperson I K Jadeja also condoled her death.
Bhavnaben Chikhalia first got elected to the Lok Sabha from 1991,before registering victories again in 1996, 1998 and 1999.