Kalyan Singh passes away; PM, other leaders pay tribute

Lucknow/ New Delhi : Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and one of the key architects of the Ramjamabhoomi movement Kalyan Singh passed away on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said generations to come will remain grateful to Kalyan Singh for his contributions towards India’s cultural regeneration.

A three-day state mourning has been declared in Uttar Pradesh, and August 23, the day of cremation will be a public holiday.

Singh, 89, was undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit of the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow since July 4. His condition had started deteriorating since Friday.

Condoling his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “Generations to come will remain forever grateful to Kalyan Singh Ji for his contributions towards India’s cultural regeneration. He was firmly rooted in Indian values and took pride in our centuries old traditions”.

Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh twice — from June 1991 to December 1992 – the period in which the Babri Masjid was demolished, and from September 1997 to November 1999. He also served as Governor of Rajasthan between 2014 and 2019.

Singh’s death was condoled by leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath among others. He was hailed as a good administrator.

Home Minister Amit Shah said Kalyan Singh set an example of good governance in Uttar Pradesh, and provided an administration free of crime and fear.

Yogi Adityanath, while paying his tribute, said people will always remember how Kalyan Singh ruled the state with strictness and resigned from the chief minister post taking moral responsibility for the demolition of Babri mosque.
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, and Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati also condoled his death.

The cremation of the leader would be done on the banks of river Ganga at Narora on Tuesday afternoon,Yogi Adityanath announced.

The body would be kept for people to pay their last respect at the state party headquarters in Lucknow and at the assembly, after which the mortal remains will be taken to Aligarh. Here, the body would be kept at a stadium for people to pay their last respects and thereafter will be taken to his native place Atrauli in Bulandshahr district, informed the chief minister. From here, the body will be taken to Narora on the banks of river Ganga for the last rites.

Singh, who was the chief minister when Babri mosque was demolished, resigned from the post after that. The government was dismissed the same day and President’s rule was imposed on Uttar Pradesh.

Singh, along with several other BJP leaders including L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati, were named in the Babri demolition case. In 2020, Kalyan Singh, along with other BJP leaders, was exonerated from the charges of demolition of the Babri structure by a special CBI Court in Lucknow.