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Kalyan Singh's last rites on Monday; tributes pour in for late UP chief minister

Mourning Kalyan Singh's demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the late leader's contributions to the development of Uttar Pradesh.

Kalyan Singh's last rites on Monday; tributes pour in late UP chief minister-VPN
Lucknow, First Published Aug 22, 2021, 11:37 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top political leaders mourned the demise of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh on Saturday.

The former Rajasthan governor, who overcame Covid-19 infection last year, had been ailing for some time. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his last respects to the veteran leader at the latter's residence in Lucknow.

Earlier, mourning Kalyan Singh's demise, Prime Minister Modi recalled the late leader's contributions to the development of Uttar Pradesh.

He termed Kalyan Singh as a great politician and efficient administrator.

Kalyan Singh played an important role in enriching the cultural heritage of India, the Prime Minister said, adding that the late leader was rooted in Indian values and was proud of his age-old tradition.

Prime Minister Modi further said that Kalyan Singh was the voice of crores of people from the weaker and deprived sections of the society and that he made countless efforts for empowering farmers, youth and women. 

Condoling his death, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced three-day state mourning. The national flag will remain at half-mast during the period. The Chief Minister has also announced that Kalyan Singh will be cremated with state honours. 

Recalling his old relationship with the veteran BJP leader, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Kalyan Singh's death had caused irreparable damage. I knew him since I was elected a legislator in 1977. That was when he became UP's health minister. For me, it is difficult to decide whether he was a leader, big brother or friend."

Kalyan Singh's last rites will be performed on August 23 at Narora Ghat in Bulandshahr. On Sunday, the former UP chief minister's mortal remains will be kept at the Vidhan Bhavan and later in the BJP office for people to pay their respects. His body will be taken to Aligarh at 2 pm. On August 23, the funeral will be held on the banks of the Ganges at Narora Ghat in Bulandshahr. 

Kalyan Singh's last rites on Monday; tributes pour in late UP chief minister-VPN

Who was Kalyan Singh?

Veteran BJP leader Kalyan Singh was born on January 5, 1932, in Atrauli, Aligarh. After graduation, he joined politics. He started his electoral journey from the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Kalyan Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh thrice, will also be remembered as the leader of the Ram temple movement. During the Babri Masjid demolition, he refused to permit the police to fire at Kar sevaks and his government was dismissed after that. 

Kalyan Singh again became the chief minister of UP in 1997. But his government did not last long. But in 1999, after the infighting within the BJP, he was removed and Ram Prakash Gupta was made the new chief minister by the BJP. 

Eight-time MLA, MP twice

Kalyan Singh contested his first election in 1962 from the Atrauli assembly constituency but had to face defeat. He again contested the elections in 1967 and became an MLA from Bharatiya Jana Sangh. After that, he continued to win elections. For the first three times, he became an MLA from the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, and for the fourth time, he became an MLA on a Janata Party ticket. But he lost the 1980 election. 

In 1985, he became an MLA on a BJP ticket and then continued to reach the assembly from the Atrauli assembly constituency till 2004. He has also been an MP from Etah. 

Reached CM's chair from Ram temple movement

The Ram Mandir movement gained momentum in 1989. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were leading it at the national level. On the other hand, the Mandal movement had also intensified in the country. When Mulayam Singh Yadav emerged as the biggest leader of the Mandal movement in UP, the BJP pushed Kalyan Singh forward in the state. 

In the battle of Mandal-Kamandal, Kalyan Singh established BJP in the UP. He emerged as the leader of the temple movement and also managed to connect the backwards with the BJP. The result was that BJP got 221 seats out of 425 seats in UP in 1991 and BJP formed the government with full majority. But after the December 6 incident, he resigned, on the other hand, the President dismissed the government. 

Angry with BJP, formed his own party

After the BJP removed him from the chief minister's post in 1999 following a tussle with top leaders, Kalyan Singh rebelled and left the BJP. He rejoined the BJP in 2013. He campaigned a lot for the BJP in UP in the 2014 elections. After the formation of the government at the Centre, he was appointed as Governor of Rajasthan. 

After demitting office as Rajasthan governor, he appeared before the CBI court in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case trial. The CBI court pronounced its order in September 2020, acquitting him and 31 others accused of conspiracy to demolish the mosque.

After the end of his gubernatorial term, he once again received BJP membership, but the party did not give any responsibility. His health had been deteriorating for the past year.

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