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Former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer six months ago, and would not take part in the BJP’s Lok Sabha poll campaign.

Sushil Kumar Modi. (HT file)

Modi, 72, was named by the BJP as one of its star campaigners for the state and a member of its election manifesto committee.

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“I have been battling cancer for the last six months. Now, I feel that the time has come to inform people about it. I will not be able to do anything for the Lok Sabha elections,” he posted on X.

“I have told everything to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I will always remain grateful and dedicated to the country, Bihar and the party,” he added.

During his political career spanning over three decades, Modi was an MLA, an MLC, a member of Lok Sabha, and a Rajya Sabha MP. He was the deputy CM of the state from 2005 to 2013, and from 2017 to 2020.

He joined students’ politics while studying at Patna University, and became the general secretary of its students’ union in 1973. He became an MLA for the first time in 1990 from the Patna Central constituency and was made the chief whip of the BJP legislature party.

From 1996 to 2004, he was the leader of the opposition in the state assembly. He became a member of Lok Sabha in 2004 from Bhagalpur.

He gave up his Lok Sabha membership in 2005 and became a member of the legislative council, following which he was made the deputy chief minister with Nitish Kumar as the CM.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2020, and retired earlier this year.

Soon after Sushil Modi made the revelation, good wishes for a speedy recovery began pouring in cutting across party lines. “I am shocked to hear this news. I pray for his speedy recovery so that he gets fully active to benefit the party workers like me with his profound political and social understanding and rich experience,” wrote Bihar seputy CM Vijay Kumar Sinha.

BJP leader Vinod Tawde, who is party in-charge for Bihar, said people’s prayers would help him recover fast. “I hope you will soon join us in our work. You have always worked for the people,” he wrote.

JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar said that the news had stunned him. “Modi is a man who never compromised with his principles and always strove to give his best through self study, organisational skills and comprehensive approach,” he said.

Replying on X, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi wrote that even if he is physically not around this time, his ideals will continue to inspire, encourage and energise every worker.

Former Bihar deputy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav also prayed for his speedy recovery. “It was shocking to know about Sushil Modi ji’s illness. I pray for his speedy recovery,” said Yadav.

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