Jaswant Singh, a founding member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a former union minister who held key portfolios including finance and defence, has passed away at the age of 82 after a prolonged illness.
Former union minister Jaswant Singh passed away on September 27 at the age of 82. The Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi said that Singh died of a cardiac arrest at 6.55 am.
He had been admitted to the hospital on June 25 and was being treated for sepsis with multi-organ dysfunction syndrome and effects of an old severe head injury. Singh's COVID status was negative, the hospital said.
Singh was a retired officer of the Indian Army and a founding member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He held key portfolios such as finance, defence and external affairs in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Union Cabinet.
He was one of India's longest serving parliamentarians, having been a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha almost continuously between 1980 and 2014.
Singh served as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha between 2004 and 2009.
Singh, who suffered from a prolonged illness, is survived by his son Manvendra Singh, a former Member of Parliament and member of the Indian National Congress.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “Jaswant Singh ji served our 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.”
"Jaswant Singh ji will be remembered for his unique perspective on matters of politics and society. He also contributed to the strengthening of the BJP. I will always remember our interactions. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti," PM Modi said.
Union Defence Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh tweeted, "Deeply pained by the passing away of veteran BJP leader & former Minister, Shri Jaswant Singh ji. He served the nation in several capacities including the charge of Raksha Mantri. He distinguished himself as an effective Minister and Parliamentarian.""Shri Jaswant Singh ji would be remembered for his intellectual capabilities and stellar record in service to the nation. He also played a key role in strengthening the BJP in Rajasthan. Condolences to his family and supporters in this sad hour. Om Shanti," he added.