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RLD Chief and Former Union Minister Ajit Singh dies of Covid

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president and former Union minister Ajit Singh died due to Covid-19 at 82, confirmed his son Jayant Chaudhary. Ajit Singh was Union Minister in several governments and one of India’s senior-most politicians. 

Ajit Singh was diagnosed with Covid on April 20. “He battled his condition till the very end and breathed his last today morning,” his son Jayant Chaudhary tweeted. 

 “Throughout his life journey, Chaudhary Sahib was loved and respected by many. He, in turn, cherished this bond with all of you and gave his best consideration and efforts for your welfare,” he said.

चौधरी साहब नहीं रहे!

— Jayant Chaudhary (@jayantrld) May 6, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tribute to the politician, known to be a prominent voice of farmers.

पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री चौधरी अजित सिंह जी के निधन से अत्यंत दुख हुआ है। वे हमेशा किसानों के हित में समर्पित रहे। उन्होंने केंद्र में कई विभागों की जिम्मेदारियों का कुशलतापूर्वक निर्वहन किया। शोक की इस घड़ी में मेरी संवेदनाएं उनके परिजनों और प्रशंसकों के साथ हैं। ओम शांति!

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 6, 2021

An alum of IIT Kharagpur and the Illinois Institute of Technology, Ajit Singh was a seven-time MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat and son of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh. 

Ajit Singh left the computer industry and returned to India and join politics when his father fell ill. He became a Rajya Sabha member in 1986. He was the President of Lok Dal (A) and Janata Party in 1987 and 1988. He joined the Janata Dal in 1989 when parties decided to merge under the leadership of VP Singh to fight the Congress. When VP Singh was Prime Minister, Ajit Singh took over as Industries Minister.

After his father died, he was asked to take over as chief of the Lok Dal, but amid internal fights, the party split. Ajit Singh then formed his own party. He founded the RLD in 1996.

He was a union minister in the governments of VP Singh, PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh. He had a tremendous following in politically vital Uttar Pradesh, especially its western parts dominated by Jats.

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