Ailing ex-Goa BJP MLA’s death in South Africa triggers family spat

Ailing ex-Goa BJP MLA’s death in South Africa triggers family spat

Panaji: The death of Goa’s former Deputy Speaker and ex-BJP MLA Vishnu Wagh in South Africa last week has triggered a public spat between his wife and immediate family.

A day after Wagh’s wife Aruna on Wednesday announced on Whatsapp to a select group about his death in South Africa on August 8, his brother Ramrao and two other siblings said in a Facebook post: “The family was unaware that Vishnu was being flown to South Africa despite his deteriorating health.”

They questioned why the information about his death was only made public five days after the 53-year-old was reported to have died.

“It is with deep sadness that we wish to inform you that we have been kept in dark about the death and whereabouts of Wagh. We did not have any information about him being taken to South Africa when his health was deteriorating,” Wagh’s siblings Ramrao, Smita and Jyotsna said in the Facebook post.

Wagh, a renowned litterateur, former journalist and outspoken activist, was elected to the state legislative Assembly for the first time in 2012 on a BJP ticket.

In the midst of a patchy relationship with the state BJP leadership, Wagh suffered a severe heart attack in 2016 which left him severely paralysed.

After Wagh was confined to bed for nearly two years, the couple hit the headlines again in November last year, after his sons participated in an evangelist healing session in South Africa conducted by pastor Alph Lukau and their video engaging with the pastor went viral.

Wagh’s siblings have now said that they are still trying to gather facts about his death and have publicly wondered why the communication of his death was delayed by the “persons who accompanied him to South Africa”.

“Apart from grappling with the loss, we are also trying to gather facts about his death and would like to express our concerns about the manner in which the persons who accompanied him to South Africa has chosen to reveal this matter to public five days after the actual death, bypassing close family members and relatives,” they said.

In her message Aruna had said: “Vishnu Surya Wagh, 53, passed on peacefully on February 8 in South Africa while he was on a tour to Cape Town and Johannesburg as per his wish and desire”.