DEMISE … Former Union minister Jaswant Singh dies after prolonged treatment, cardiac arrest


NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister Jaswant Singh is no more. He died on Sunday at age 82 after a cardiac complaint at the Army Hospital here, where he was under treatment for long. The death occurred early this morning. Jaswant Singh handled finance, defence and external affairs in the AB Vajpayee governments. “Saddened by his demise,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Jaswant Singh was a Major with the Indian Army and later quit it and joined politics with his home turf, Rajasthan and later Delhi as main bases. He was among the founding members of the BJP,

Jaswant Singh was one of the longest-serving members of Indian Parliament; his terms spanning from 1980 to 2014; having started with the Rajya Sabha and later in Lok Sabha too. He is survived by wife Sheetal and son Manavendra Singh. He also served as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha between 2004 and 2009 and a term as deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.

Singh was bold and took up positions irrespective of the thoughts about the harm it could cause to him. After the BJP lost LS polls in 2004 and 2009, he asked the leadership to analyse the flaws in the party’s unpopularity with the masses. Later, in a book he wrote, he had good words to say about Mohammad Ali Jinna, the founding father of Pakistan who had worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi in India’s Independence movement. He as also Lalkrishna Advani fell out with the RSS, which guides the BJP, for their open airing of admiration for Jinnah.

 When the party denied him a ticket in the 2014 LS polls, he stood as an independent in Barmer, Rajasthan, but lost. He was expelled by the party in March on the ground he stood against the party’s candidate. Thereafter, he suffered a head injury in a fall in his bathroom, and underwent prolonged treatment. IHN-NN


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