Former union minister Jaswant Singh passes away

Clay Curtis
September 28, 2020

"Saddened by his demise".

Despite the best efforts of the attending team of specialists to resuscitate him, he could not be revived and passed away, the statement added.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a tweet said: "sad to learn about the demise of Jaswant Singh Ji". He was among the founding members of the current Hindu nationalist ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP.

Modi said that Singh served India diligently and will be remembered for his unique perspective on matters of politics and society.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers and other top leaders cutting across the political spectrum paid rich tributes to Singh. "True to his nature, Jaswant Ji fought his illness with vast courage for the last six years".

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A veteran BJP leader, Jaswant Singh, had first served in the Indian Army before joining politics. Made a mark for himself as d Foreign Minister n Defense Minister in Vajpayee govt. End of another stalwart of a glorious past era.

His career, however, was also hit by controversy when he was in government during the Kandahar hijacking of 1999. He was later expelled from the party after his book on Pakistan founder Jinnah, Jinnah: India, Partitiion, Independence was considered sympathetic to the late leader.

Singh had accompanied the three released terrorists, including Jaish-e-Mohammed head Masood Azhar, on a flight to Kandahar for a hostage swap deal with the hijackers.

Mr Singh, who quit his appointment to the Central India Horse - an armoured regiment - contested his first election as an independent candidate from Osian - close to his home town of Jasol. Manvendra Singh, son of Jaswant Singh, is a former Member of Parliament from Barmer. "He also contributed to the strengthening of the BJP".

Miffed with the BJP's decision to not field him in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Singh chose to contest as an independent from his constituency of Barmer in Rajasthan. "He was supportive without being interfering, was always available for advice & never made me feel like my work didn't matter". Jaswant Singh was also one of India's longest serving parliamentarians, having been a member of one or the other house nearly continuously between 1980 and 2014. He was also the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha between 2004-2009.

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