Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 21
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh on Saturday passed away at Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow due to sepsis and multi-organ failure.
He was 89.
The veteran leader was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Condoling his death, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath announced a state mourning of three days. “His last rites will be performed on the bank of Ganga in Narora in the evening of August 23. There will be a public holiday on the day,” Adityanath said in Lucknow.
He's a two-time Member of Parliament and a former governor of Rajasthan. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was among the first to offer his condolences on social media.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a series of messages, calling the late BJP leader a “statesman, veteran administrator, grassroots level leader and great human”.
“I am saddened beyond words. Kalyan Singh Ji…statesman, veteran administrator, grassroots level leader, and great human. He leaves behind an indelible contribution towards the development of Uttar Pradesh.
“Generations to come will remain forever grateful to Kalyan Singh Ji for his contributions towards India’s cultural regeneration. He was firmly rooted in Indian values and took pride in our centuries old traditions.
“Kalyan Singh Ji gave voice to crores of people belonging to the marginalised sections of society. He made numerous efforts towards the empowerment of farmers, youngsters, and women,” he said
The BJP’s success in Uttar Pradesh is attributed to a large degree to Singh, a prominent OBC face who helped the saffron party build vote base beyond the traditional upper caste support. As a well-known face of Hindutva and the agitation to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Singh symbolised the rise of the saffron party in the Hindi heartland, successfully bringing together ‘mandal’ and ‘kamandal’ for the party.
He was the CM of the state during the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
Just hours after mobs of ‘karsevaks’ demolished it, he quit as CM owning moral responsibility. The state assembly was dissolved as riots erupted at several places in the country. But as observers say, “he had no regrets over his failure to save the mosque which he had assured the Supreme Court would be protected”.
As the CM, Singh had filed an affidavit in the court, assuring that the mosque will be protected. But he also ordered police not to open fire at protesters, arguing later that such an action would have led to much bloodshed.
“Maybe it was destined that the structure would be demolished with me as chief minister,” he was quoted as saying ahead of the 2020 “Bhoomi pujan” for the Ram temple at the once-disputed site in Ayodhya. “Had there been no demolition, probably the courts too would have ordered status quo,” he also said.
Hailed by many for his administrative acumen during his two stints as Uttar Pradesh chief minister, the influential backward caste leader from western UP left the BJP twice and also floated his own political party.
Kalyan Singh won the Assembly polls several times, held important posts in the BJP and was appointed Rajasthan Governor in the last phase of his public life.
He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) on July 4 due to an infection and reduced consciousness levels.
His last wish, he said, was to live till the temple comes up, which remained unfulfilled.
Deeply saddened by the passing away of former Governor of Rajasthan and former CM of UP, Sh. Kalyan Singh ji. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. May God give them strength in this difficult time. May the departed soul rest in peace.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 21, 2021
I am saddened beyond words. Kalyan Singh Ji…statesman, veteran administrator, grassroots level leader and great human. He leaves behind an indelible contribution towards the development of Uttar Pradesh. Spoke to his son Shri Rajveer Singh and expressed condolences. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/ANOU2AJIpS— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 21, 2021
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