Leaders across party lines condole former Union minister Jaswant Singh’s demise

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
Sep 27, 2020 11:11 PM IST

Jaswant Singh passed away after a prolonged illness in New Delhi on Sunday. He was 82.

Country’s political leaders and bureaucrats paid rich tributes to former Union minister Jaswant Singh who passed away after a prolonged illness in New Delhi on Sunday.

File photo: Former Union minister Jaswant Singh at United Nations.(PTI)
File photo: Former Union minister Jaswant Singh at United Nations.(PTI)

“Jaswant Singh Ji served our nation diligently, first as a soldier and later during his long association with politics. During Atal Ji’s Government, he handled crucial portfolios and left a strong mark in the worlds of finance, defence and external affairs. Saddened by his demise,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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In Jodhpur, Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh lit the funeral pyre amid chanting of mantras. Singh’s family members and relatives were present during the cremation at the farmhouse located near a civil airport. Singh’s body was brought to Jodhpur from New Delhi by air and was kept in the farmhouse where people offered floral tributes. A wreath was also laid on behalf of the Indian Army.

Also read: Jaswant Singh, founding member of the BJP and former Union minister, passes away

Jaswant Singh was 82. He was one of the founding members of the BJP and a close associate of ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday condoled the death of the BJP veteran saying he was a man of impeccable integrity, an able administrator and an excellent parliamentarian.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said Jaswant Singh served the nation in several capacities and distinguished himself as an effective minister and parliamentarian.

“Jaswant Singh ji would be remembered for his intellectual capabilities and stellar record in service to the nation. He also played a key role in strengthening the BJP in Rajasthan. Condolences to his family and supporters in this sad hour. Om Shanti,” Singh said.

Also read: Jaswant Singh - A gentleman politician and Vajpayee’s globetrotting trouble-shooter

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi also expressed her condolences. “Jaswant Singh was a man who lived his life with the utmost honour and integrity, whether as an Army officer, a politician or a cabinet minister who held the most crucial portfolios of external affairs, defence and finance,” Gandhi said in a letter to Manvendra Singh.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh also said that Singh was an able administrator and an outstanding parliamentarian. “In his death, our country has lost a great leader who always worked for the betterment of the society,” said the former PM.

In a statement, BJP leader Lal Krishan Advani described Singh as one of his closest colleagues and a dear friend. He said Singh was an “outstanding parliamentarian, astute diplomat, great administrator, and above all, a patriot”.

Advani noted that a “very special bond was formed between Atal ji, Jaswant ji and myself” while handling tenacious issues during those six years (1998-2004) in power.

“As a person, Jaswant ji was a true gentleman and will be remembered as a soft-spoken, erudite and warm-hearted person. He was known for his sharp, analytical mind and was respected by people across the political spectrum,” Advani said.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday also expressed remorse on Singh’s passing away.

“My heartfelt condolences at the passing away of senior leader from Rajasthan and former union minister, shri Jaswant Singhji,” Gehlot tweeted. “Saddened at the passing away of former Defence Minister and one of India’s longest-serving parliamentarians, Jaswant Singh Ji. My condolences to his family and his many admirers,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also expressed pain. The Lt Governor said he was deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of the former Union minister. He said Singh worked dedicatedly for the welfare of the people while serving the country in various important capacities.

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