Jaswant Singh: A Political Stalward Of Vajpayee Era

Former Union Minister and veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh passed away on Sunday morning.

According to Army Hospital (R&R), Delhi, Major Jaswant Singh (Retired), former Cabinet Minister, passed away at 6:55 am today. He was admitted on 25 June and was being treated for Sepsis with Multiorgan Dysfunction Syndrome. He had a cardiac arrest this morning. His COVID status is negative.

A veteran BJP leader, Singh, had first served in the Indian Army before joining politics. He served as a member of both the Houses of the Parliament and held several important positions in the NDA Cabinet.

Singh was Minister for Finance, Minister for Defence and Minister for External Affairs during the government led by late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

In July 1980, he was elected to Rajya Sabha and in July 1986 was re-elected to the Upper House.

From 1996-97, he was a member of the eleventh Lok Sabha and in May 1996 he became Union Minister of Finance. From March 25, 1998 to February 4, 1999, he was Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission.

In July 1998 Singh was elected to Rajya Sabha, In December 1998 July 1, 2002, he was Minister of External Affairs. From February-October 1999, he had simultaneous charge of Minister of Electronics. From August 6-October 13, 1999 he was Minister of Surface Transport.

From October 15, 1999, to May 21, 2004, he was Leader of the House, Rajya Sabha. From March 18 to October 15, 2001, he was Minister of Defence (Simultaneous charge). From July 1, 2002, to April 9, 2003, he was Minister of Finance and Company Affairs.

From April 10 2003 to May 21, 2004, he was Minister of Finance. From June 3 to July 4, 2004, he was Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and from July 5, 2004 onwards. In July 2004 he was re-elected to Rajya Sabha.

In the Indian Airlines’ IC-814 flight highjacking incident in December 1999, he had reportedly escorted three terrorists–Omar Saeed Sheikh, Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar and Azhar Masood–to Kandahar in exchange for 175 passengers.

In 2009, Singh was expelled from the BJP following alleged remarks in his book ‘Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence’. He rejoined the BJP in 2010.

However, he contested as an Independent candidate from Barmer district in Rajasthan after he was reportedly denied a BJP ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. He lost the election to Colonel Sona Ram of the BJP.

Singh was born on January 3, 1938, in village Jasol, Railway Station Balotara, District Barmer (Rajasthan).

In 2014, Singh was admitted to the Army (R&R) Hospital in the national capital following a head injury after suffering a fall at his residence. (ANI)

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