Former Union minister Jaswant Singh died after a prolonged illness on Sunday morning. He had held the crucial portfolios of external affairs, defence and finance in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
After serving in the Indian Army, he became one of the early founding members of the BJP. However, he had a bitter falling out with his party in 2014 when he was denied a Lok Sabha ticket of his choice from Barmer in Rajasthan. He contested the 2014 general election, which was his last as an independent, but lost.
Singh, considered close to Vajpayee and veteran BJP leader LK Advani, was expelled from the party twice. n 2009, the parliamentary board of the BJP expelled him after his book Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence was published. He rejoined the party after 10 months, but faced a second expulsion in 2014 when he defied party orders and challenged the BJP’s decision for mot giving him a ticket from Barmer.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death on Sunday, tweeting that Singh served the nation diligently, first as a soldier and later during his long association with politics. “…During Atal Ji’s Government, he handled crucial portfolios and left a strong mark in the worlds of finance, defence and external affairs. Saddened by his demise,” the PM wrote.
Himachal Governor Bandaru Dattatraya and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur have expressed grief over the demise of former Union Minister Jaswant Singh.
Governor Bandaru Dattatraya said that Jaswant Singh served the nation for a long time and his efforts were appreciated by all.