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RLD chief former Union minister Ajit Singh died at 82 with Covid-19

Former Union minister RLD leader Ajit Singh passed away at a Gurugram hospital on Thursday morning battling Covid-19. The former Union minister was admitted to a hospital after his condition deteriorated on Tuesday night. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on April 20.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief and former Union minister Chaudhary Ajit Singh died on Thursday. He was 82.

The RLD chief, a prominent leader in western Uttar Pradesh, was admitted to a private hospital in Gurugram after his condition deteriorated due to a lung infection on Tuesday. Ajit Singh had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on April 20.

“With a heavy heart I inform you that Ch. Ajit Singh passed away today, the 6th May, 2021 at 8.20 AM battling Covid. He was being treated in a private Hospital and was in the ICU and also on ventilator support from the last few days,” read a message for Ajit Singh’s personal secretary.

Ajit Singh’s condition worsened and he passed away on Thursday, his son and former MP Jayant Chaudhary confirmed on Twitter. “Chaudhary Ajit Singh ji was diagnosed as Covid positive on April 20. He battled his condition till the very end and breathed his last today morning,” Jayant Chaudhary said.

Ajit Singh (1939-2021)

The son of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, Chaudhary Ajit Singh served as a Member of Parliament for eight terms, including one term as a member of the Rajya Sabha. He also served as the Union Minister four times.

Son of a formidable farmer leader Charan Singh, who helmed the country for six months in 1979-1980, Ajit Singh worked 15 years in the computer industry in the United States before he returned to the country to inherit the political fief of his father in the prosperous western Uttar Pradesh. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Ajit Singh was first elected to Rajya Sabha in 1986.

The seven-time member of Lok Sabha, Ajit Singh, represented the family’s pocket borough of Baghpat in the Lower House of Parliament. His party, RLD, wields influence in Jat-dominated western Uttar Pradesh.

Political career of Ajit Singh

Ajit Singh forayed from Lok Dal to Congress and allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party. Perceived as a fair-weather friend or an opportunist by his critics, Ajit Singh switched alliances in an effort to remain on the winning side.

Ajit Singh was inducted as the Union minister of industry in the VP Singh government. He joined the PV Narasimha Rao government as food minister but resigned from the Congress in 1996. Ajit Singh formed RLD and joined the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government as agriculture minister in 2001. He was part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government till May 2003. He joined the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) later after forging an alliance with the Congress for assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

President, PM Modi condole death of RLD chief Ajit Singh

Many took to social media to share condolence messages on Ajit Singh’s demise. In his condolence message, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Ajit Singh served the public and the land and fought for farmers, laborers and other weaker sections of society.

President Ram Nath Kovind said he was saddened by the demise of the RLD President. “He always raised his voice for farmers. As a public representative and a minister, he left a mark on the politics of the country. My condolences to his family and well-wishers.” the President wrote on Twitter.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also condoled the demise of RLD chief Chaudhary Ajit Singh and wrote, “The news of the untimely demise of Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh ji is sad. My condolences to his family and loved ones.”

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