Former union minister and RLD chief Ajit Singh dies of COVID-19


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Former Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh died on Thursday while battling Covid.

Ajit Singh, son of former prime minister Charan Singh, was diagnosed with Covid on April 20, his son Jayant Chaudhary informed via Twiiter. “He battled his condition till the very end and breathed his last today morning,” Jayant informed.

The 82-year-old veteran leader was admitted at a Gurgaon hospital, his family said.

Ajit Singh, an IIT alumni, was a seven-time MP and Union Minister in the governments of VP Singh, PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.

He quit the computer industry to return to India and join politics. He 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.

Ajit Singh became a Rajya Sabha member in 1986. He allied with major parties including the BJP, Congress and Samajwadi Party during his political journey. Ajit Singh formed the 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.

Expressing grief at the death of Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the former union minister was always dedicated to the welfare of farmers.

Condoling Singh’s demise, BJP president J P Nadda said he always served people during his long career in politics. 

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