After battling with cancer and renal failure for a decade, former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh died on Thursday at New Delhi’s Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. Wife Seeta Devi and two sons Ajeya and Abhay Singh survive the departed leader. He was 77.
Having been declared dead at 2.45 pm on Thursday, Singh’s body was brought to his 1, Teenmurty Marg residence. Cremation will take place on Saturday at the “sangam” in Allahabad, family sources said. The body will be taken to Allahabad by a defence aircraft around 1 pm on Friday.
In honour of the departed leader, the Union government has announced a seven-day state mourning. The National Flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings where it is flown regularly and no official entertainment will take place during this period.
Singh had been admitted to Apollo Hospital for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the immune cells (plasma cells) in bone marrow that produce antibodies to fight infections. Myeloma is incurable but treatable.
In office as prime minister for a barely 11 months — between December 2, 1989, and November 10, 1990 — Singh’s tenure marked the watershed of Indian politics, thanks to “Mandal politics”.