Former Union minister Chaudhary Ajit Singh dies of Covid

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Former Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief Chaudhary Ajit Singh (82) passed away due to Covid-19 in a private hospital at Gurugram  on Thursday morning.

Ajit Singh, the son of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, was one of the first IITians in Indian politics, and became Rajya Sabha member in 1986 as his father fell ill and fought and won from the Baghpat seat from 1989 till 2009.

After his own father’s demise he headed the Lok Dal (A), and the Janata Party and allied with the Janata Dal, BJP and Congress in the 1990s before going it on his own in 2014.

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He was minister for agriculture in the Vajpayee government between 2001-2003, and minister for civil aviation in the second term of the UPA government. His politics stemmed from the rural hinterland of Wester Uttar Pradesh especially the agrarian communities including Jats and Muslims, a constituency that his father Chaudhary Charan Singh had built in the 1960s.

Tributes poured in from all quarters at the demise of Mr Singh, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that Mr Singh was “devoted to the interests of farmers all his life”.

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In a condolence message, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh described Chaudhary Ajit Singh as a messiah of farmers, who always played a pro-active role in championing the cause of peasantry. ”His enormous contribution towards the farmers’ welfare would be ever remembered by one and all”, said Captain Amarinder Singh. With the death of Ajit Singh a void has been created in the arena of national politics, which was difficult to be filled, added the Chief Minister.