Former Himachal minister, BJP leader Narendra Bragta passes away at PGI
Former Himachal Pradesh horticulture minister and state BJP chief whip Narendra Bragta, 69, died of post-Covid complications at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, on Saturday morning.
He is survived by his wife Pushpa and sons Chetan and Dhruv.
Chetan broke the news on Twitter and said that his father had been undergoing treatment at PGI for the last two weeks. He appealed to supporters to exercise restraint during this difficult time for the family by observing the Covid-19 protocol.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur described his death as a colossal loss.
BJP chief Jagat Prakash Nadda and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, his son and Union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur, state party chief Suresh Kashyap Former chief parliamentary secretary Rohit Thakur also condoled his death.
Strengthened apple marketing infrastructure
A popular leader of Himachal Pradesh’s apple belt, Bragta was horticulture minister twice from 1998-2002 and from 2008-12. He largely contributed towards strengthening the marketing infrastructure in the apple-growing regions of the state and remained vocal in the assembly on issues related to horticulture.
Bragta was elected to the state assembly in 1998 from Shimla constituency and re-elected in 2007 from Jubbal-Kotkhai.
He was minister of state for horticulture (independent charge) from 1998-02 and horticulture, technical education and health minister from 2007-12.
He was re-elected to the Vidhan Sabha for the third time in December 2017 and nominated chairman, public sector undertakings; member, rules and library; and member, amenities committees.
Bragta was appointed chief whip of the BJP and given cabinet rank status.
Started political leader as student leader
Born on September 15, 1952, in Shimla, Bragta was general secretary of the boys’ parliament at DAV School, Shimla, in 1969 and was vice-president of the Students Central Association at SDB College, Shimla, in 1971. He did his post-graduation in political science from Himachal Pradesh University and went on to become a member of the HP University Court in 1973. He was a member of the Board for Fruit Support Price in 1988 and on the HPMC (Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation) Board in 1990.
Bragta was elected president of the Janata Yuva Morcha from 1978-82. He led the Fruit Growers Association in Shimla district and the HP Kisan Morcha before becoming the BJP state general secretary and executive member and the national Kisan Morcha secretary from 1994-96.