Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief and the former Union Ajit Singh, 82, passed away on Thursday due to COVID-19 complications in a Gurgaon hospital. His son, Jayant Chaudhary confirmed his passing on Thursday morning.
Mr Singh, son to Chaudhary Charan Singh- former Prime minister of India, was one of the first IIT alumni in Indian politics. After his father fell ill in 1986, he became a Rajya Sabha member. Mr Singh fought and won from the Baghpat seat from 1989 till 2009.
After his father’s demise, he became the leader of the Lok Dal (A), and the Janata Party and through the vicissitudes of coalition politics of the 1990s allied with the Janata Dal, BJP and Congress before going it on his own in 2014. He was minister for agriculture in the Vajpayee government around 2001-2003, and minister for civil aviation in the second term of the UPA government. His politics mainly focused on the remote areas of Uttar Pradesh especially the agrarian communities including Jats and Muslims- a community his father helped in building during the 1960s.
Ajit Singh was diagnosed with Covid on April 20, his son conveyed in tweets. “He battled his condition till the very end and breathed his last today morning,” he said.
Tributes from all of the country came pouring in at his demise. Even PM Narendra Modi offered condolences and tweeted, “He was always dedicated to the cause of farmers. He ably fulfilled many responsibilities at the centre.”