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Former UP CM, Kalyan Singh, passes away

Lucknow: On Saturday (August 21), former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh passed away in Lucknow due to sepsis and organ failure. He was 89. Since July 4, the senior BJP leader had been undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit at SGPGIMS (Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences) in the UP capital. He was placed on dialysis on Friday after his condition deteriorated.

In a tweet last month, Prime Minister Modi stated that ‘countless people across India are praying for the speedy recovery of Kalyan Singh Ji’.

Yogi Adityanath, UP Chief Minister, who visited Mr. Singh in the hospital earlier today, also expressed condolences, calling his death an irreparable loss. In honor of Mr. Singh’s funeral, the government has declared three days of mourning and a holiday on August 23. Former chief ministers Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati also expressed their sorrow on Twitter.

Mr. Singh served as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, twice — from June 1991 to December 1992 and September 1997 to November 1999. Between 2014 and 2019, he served as Governor of Rajasthan.

The long-disputed Babri mosque in Ayodhya was demolished during his first term as Chief Minister on December 6, 1992. This incident sent shock waves throughout the country, and is widely regarded as a watershed moment in modern Indian political history and in the rise of his party, the BJP. Mr. Singh resigned as Chief Minister immediately after the demolition, and on the same day, the then-President of the state, Shankar Dayal Sharma, dismissed the Uttar Pradesh government. Mr. Singh was charged with conspiracy over the incident along with other BJP stalwarts, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

A Lucknow court acquitted Mr Singh and others in the case last year. In a 2009 interview with the media, the senior politician vehemently denied that there was any conspiracy behind the demolition. ‘There was no conspiracy. It was an outpouring of the sentiments of crores of Hindus whose aspirations had been forcibly subdued for hundreds of years. We had made all security arrangements,’ he said. ‘It is true that the structure came down despite it. I can only say that sometimes the security cannot match up. I was a strong Chief Minister despite what happened. I had made it clear that there will be no firing. If I had ordered firing, then thousands of people would have died. They were my orders to not fire.’

Born in Atrauli, in the Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh, he was first elected to state legislature in 1967.


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