Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh dies at 89

Published on Aug 21, 2021 09:52 PM IST

Kalyan Singh was one of the chief architects of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and in an interview, given to Hindustan Times in 2020, he said he wanted to be reborn in the temple town.

Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh was admitted at RML hospital, in Lucknow.
Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh was admitted at RML hospital, in Lucknow.
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and former Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh passed away at Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow on Saturday, due to sepsis and multi-organ failure. The veteran leader was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit on July 4 because of an infection and reduced consciousness level. On Friday, the hospital authorities informed that his health was critical and he was being moved on a life-saving support system.

BJP leaders, including Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh visited the leader at the hospital this month. On Friday, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath paid a visit to the leader.

Kalyan Singh, popularly known as 'Babuji', became the chief minister of the state for the first time in 1991. He was at the helm of the affairs in the state when the Babri masjid was demolished in 1992. In several interviews, he recounted what happened on December 6 and just before the bhumi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya in August 2020, he said he wanted to be reborn in the temple town. "I was told that central forces were on way to the temple town but their movement was halted by kar sewaks outside Saket college. I was asked whether to order firing (on kar sewaks) or not. I denied permission in writing and said in my order, which is still there on the files, that firing would lead to the loss of many lives, chaos and law and order issues across the country," Kalyan Singh had told Hindustan Times in an interview.

After a controversial first stint as the chief minister, Kalyan Singh became the CM once again in 1997 according to a power-sharing agreement between the BJP and the BSP. Even after the BSP withdrew its support from the government, he continued to be the CM as a faction of Congress extended support to the Kalyan Singh government. In 1998, the Kalyan Singh's government was dismissed by the Governor after a Congress faction withdrew its support.

Kalyan Singh's association with the BJP had many ups and downs. An RSS member from school, Kalyan Singh was a member of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the Janata Party and then the BJP. During his second stint as the chief minister, he was replaced as the chief minister and left the BJP to form a new party, the Rashtriya Kranti Party.

In 2004, he returned to the BJP and again exited the party in 2009. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he won from Etah as an independent candidate. In 2010, he announced the formation of the Jan Kranti Party and four years later, he again came back to the BJP. In the same year, he was appointed the Governor of Rajasthan and completed his term in 2019.

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