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Monday Sep 28 2020
By
Web Desk

India's Jaswant Singh, BJP politico who praised Jinnah, dies at 82

By
Web Desk
Jaswant Singh, who had held multiple portfolios during the previous Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) governments passed away due to a cardiac arrest at the age of 82. Photo Courtesy: The Indian Express

NEW DELHI: Veteran Indian politician and the man who praised Jinnah, Jaswant Singh, has passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at 82, The News reported.

Singh, who had held multiple portfolios during the previous Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) governments, was admitted to the hospital on June 25 due to multiple ailments, according to a statement by an Indian army-run hospital

The former Indian foreign minister had initially joined as an officer in the army but resigned in the 1960s to pursue a career in politics. He was among the founding members of the current ruling Hindu nationalist ruling party, the BJP.

Singh had been elected to the Indian parliament nine times and served as minister for defence, finance, and external affairs when the BJP came to power from 1998 to 2004. 

In 2009, he was expelled from the party for praising the founder of Pakistan, Muhammed Ali Jinnah, in his book, Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence. Though he was let back in later, he distanced himself from the BJP in 2014 and unsuccessfully stood for election as an independent candidate.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences over Singh’s death in a series of tweets, saying he "will be remembered for his unique perspective on matters of politics and society”.

Singh "served our nation diligently, first as a soldier and later during his long association with politics,” Modi said on Twitter. "He handled crucial portfolios and left a strong mark in the worlds of finance, defence and external affairs.

"Saddened by his demise.”