New Delhi: India’s minister for rural development died after a road collision in New Delhi, depriving Prime Minister Narendra Modi of a key ally eight days after coming to office with a mandate to revitalise a stalled economy.

Gopinath Munde, 64, was on his way to the airport for a victory rally in his home state of Maharashtra, on India’s west coast, when his sedan was hit by a car. He died in hospital.

“My tributes to a dynamic leader whose premature demise leaves a void hard to fill,” Modi said in a tweet.

Dozens of supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party swarmed the party headquarters where Munde’s body was brought in a flower-bedecked truck.      Reuters