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Jaswant Singh passes away; PM, LG Sinha, Omar Abdullah condole demise

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New Delhi: Former Union minister Jaswant Singh, a close associate of ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, died in New Delhi on Sunday following a long spell of illness. He was 82.

Singh, a former Army officer, had been ill after a fall at his home in August 2014 and was admitted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital. He had been in and out of the hospital and was admitted again in June this year.

Condoling his death, 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.”

Singh, considered close to Vajpayee and veteran leader L K Advani, held defence, finance and external affairs portfolios in the Vajpayee government.

He had fought the 2014 Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate after the BJP did not give him ticket, but lost.

In his message, Modi added, “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.”

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha on Sunday expressed condolences on the death of veteran politician and former Union minister Jaswant Singh.

In a statement, the Lt Governor said he was deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of the former Union minister.

He said Singh worked dedicatedly for the welfare of the people while serving the country in various important capacities.

A statesman par excellence, Singh will always be remembered for his contribution to the nation, the LG said.

My sincere condolences to his family, friends and well-wishers, Sinha added.

Jaswant Singh was the perfect boss and mentor, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said as he remembered his stint as a junior to the former External Affairs minister.

Omar, who was the Minister of State for External Affairs from July 2001 to December 2002, took to Twitter to mourn the Singh’s demise, saying his boss was always supportive.

“Jaswant Singh sahib was my senior minister when I was Minister of State External Affairs. He was supportive without being interfering, was always available for advice & never made me feel like my work didn’t matter. He was the perfect boss & mentor. Rest in peace sir,” Omar tweeted.

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