One of the most prominent Punjabi faces in Delhi BJP and former governor of Sikkim and Goa, Kedar Nath Sahni, died after a prolonged illness on Wednesday morning. He was 85.
Sahni was better known among Delhiites as the chief executive councillor of Delhi Metropolitan Council (equivalent to chief minister) and Mayor of Delhi.
Senior BJP leaders remembered him as an “ideal human being”. “My association with him was almost 55 years. I first met him in Jammu in 1944. He was an RSS pracharak and was called to Delhi in 1954. I remember going with him and former chief minister Madan Lal Khurana to various Delhi villages on bicycle and mopeds. I have lost a close friend,” said Vijay Kumar Malhotra, leader of the Opposition in Delhi assembly.
Malhotra said Sahni was chairman of the standing committee when he was chief executive councillor (CEC) in 1967. Sahni became the CEC in 1977. He also served as deputy Mayor from April 9, 1959 to April 5, 1960 and later became the Mayor of Delhi from April 10, 1972 to February 28, 1975.
Sahni was born in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi and his family shifted to India after the Partition. He worked for the issues of refugees. During the Emergency, a BJP statement said, he worked underground and went to a foreign country in disguise.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit described Sahni as a “simple and straightforward person who contributed in giving shape to various policies”. She remembered him as an able administrator who possessed an “excellent organising capacity”.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari remembered him as a founding member of the BJP in Delhi. Delhi government has declared two day’s — Wednesday and Thursday — state mourning.