Alwar MP Mahant Chandnath dies at 61, PM praises his social work

Chandnath began his political career in 2004 when he contested the parliamentary election from Alwar.

jaipur Updated: Sep 17, 2017 18:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mahant Chandnath,Narendra Modi,Alwar
Late Mahant Chandnath (left) with Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.(HT file photo )

BJP MP from Alwar Mahant Chandnath passed away at a Delhi hospital in the early hours on Sunday after prolonged illness. He was 61.

Chandnath began his political career in 2004 when he contested the parliamentary election from Alwar. He lost to Karan Singh Yadav of the Congress by 8,400 votes.

Yadav was an MLA from Behror constituency; his election to the Lok Sabha warranted a bypoll in Behror. The BJP fielded Chandnath, who headed the Nath sect of Hinduism, in the by-election.

The religious leader defeated Jaswant Singh Yadav, a BJP rebel who fought as an Independent, by 13,000 votes.

After his assembly term was over in 2008, Chandnath disappeared from politics. He focused on religious works from his mutt in Rohtak, Haryana.

He returned to politics in 2014 when the BJP fielded him for LS election from Alwar. The Nath sect leader defeated incumbent MP and union minister Jitendra Singh with a big margin of about 2,84,000 votes.

Chandnath was active in Alwar for six months after the election, meeting people and holding public hearings in all eight assembly segments. But for more than two years, he went missing again. People close to him said he had cancer and couldn’t focus on political works.

Last year, some people in Alwar city put up ‘missing’ posters for their MP. Development works were stuck; MLAs were clueless about sending proposals for works under the MP local area development (MPLAD) fund.

“He (Chandnath) was battling an aggressive thyroid cancer for the last two-and-a-half years. He had already undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy and was undergoing immunotherapy,” said a doctor at Delhi’s Apollo Hospital.

“We had conducted tracheostomy. He was being fed through a tube in his stomach. Yesterday, he was doing fine during the daytime, but his condition deteriorated at night and he suffered a cardiac arrest. He died around 12.40 am,” he said.

The doctor said Chandnath survived longer because he was “mentally tough.”

For last few months, the mahant’s religious heir, Balaknath, became active in politics and began meeting people from the Lok Sabha constituency to fill up for the MP’s absence.

“Saddened by the demise of LS MP from Alwar, Mahant Chand Nath ji. He will be remembered for his rich social work. My deepest condolences,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje and said the mahant’s death was an irreparable loss to her and the entire BJP family. He will be remembered for his contribution for developmental works, she said.

(With PTI inputs from Delhi)

First Published: Sep 17, 2017 18:34 IST