Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Dass Tandon dies at 90

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Governor and former Punjab deputy chief minister Balramji Dass Tandon, who was one of the founder members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s parent organisation Jan Sangh, died at the age of 90 after suffering a heart attack on Tuesday, an official said.

Tandon breathed his last at the state-run Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Hospital where he was rushed this morning after he complained of uneasiness, the governor’s secretary, Surendra Kumar Jasiwal, told PTI. He was kept in the hospital’s critical care unit in view of his serious condition, he said.

Tandon suffered a heart attack, the hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Vivek Choudhary, said. Chief minister Raman Singh, who visited the hospital earlier on getting the news of Tandon’s illness, announced a seven-day state mourning in view of the governor’s demise.

Deu to the demise of the governor, Independence Day will be observed in a traditional manner on Wednesday and there no award and cultural ceremonies will be held, the CM said in an official release.

Tandon’s body will be taken to Raj Bhawan, the governor’s house, where it will be kept for people to pay their respects at 5 pm, said Singh. Later on the body will be taken to Tandon’s native place in Punjab.

In his condolence message, the chief minister said that as governor, Tandon offered his valuable services to Chhattisgarh for around four years. “He was like a father figure to me,” Singh said. Tandon had assumed the office of governor in Chhattisgarh on July 2014.

He was one of the founder members of Jan Sangh, from which the BJP was born. During his long political career, he served on various posts, including as deputy chief minister of Punjab. The six-time MLA was also jailed from 1975 to 1977 during Emergency.

(With inputs from Agencies)