Three time Haryana chief minister and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) MP from Hisar Bhajan Lal died at a local hospital on Friday evening following a massive cardiac arrest. He was 80. Lal is survived by his wife, Jasma Devi, two sons – former Deputy Chief Minister, Chander Mohan and Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, and a daughter, Roshni.
The former chief minister was rushed to Sapra hospital in Hisar from where he was shifted to Ravinder hospital. Doctor Ravinder Gupta who attended on him told HT that the former chief minister had suffered brain haemorrhage followed by a cardiac arrest and could not be revived. His body was taken to his residence in Hisar where people had started assembling to pay their homage. Family sources said that last rites will be held as per Bishnoi rituals at Mandi Adampur on Saturday afternoon.
Born in Koranwali, Bahawalpur, now in Pakistan, Bhajan Lal started his political career as a panch in Adampur gram panchayat. He later became the sarpanch.
During his long political career spanning over four decades, Bhajan Lal was elected as member of Haryana Vidhan Sabha on five occasions. He also remained minister of state in the state government in 70s before becoming chief minister for the first time from 1979-82. His second stint as a chief minister came in 1982 when he ruled the state till 1986. His third and last stint as chief minister of Haryana was from 1992 to 1996. Lal also remained Union Cabinet minister, Environment and Forests from 1986-88 and Union Agriculture Minister in 1988-89.
A key aspirant for the post of chief minister in 2005, Bhajan Lal who was the Haryana Congress president, was pipped by Rohtak strongman and Jat leader, Bhupinder Singh Hooda. After blowing hot and cold initially, Lal and his younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi announced the formation of a separate political outfit in 2007, Haryana Janhit Congress (BL). The old warhorse contested the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Hisar seat and defeated two prominent politicians of Haryana politics, Sampat Singh and Jai Parkash in a high profile battle.