New Delhi: Congress veteran Narayan Dutt Tiwari, who served in various positions at the centre and in states and was even a strong contender for prime ministership in 1991, died on his birthday at a private hospital in Delhi on Thursday after prolonged illness, doctors said.
Tiwari, who was undergoing treatment at Max Super Speciality Hospital, breathed his last at 2.50pm after he suffered a heart attack, hours after he turned 93, they said.
He was admitted to the hospital in September last year after suffering a brain stroke. A team of doctors had been monitoring his condition.
In a statement, Max Healthcare said, “Tiwari was admitted at Max hospital, Saket for several months and was undergoing treatment for complications related to a brain stroke. He breathed his last at 2.50pm today." Tiwari, who was considered close to Indira Gandhi, had served as a Union minister in several Congress-led governments. He had the unique distinction of having served as the chief minister of two states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where his native place is located.
After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, Tiwari lost the bid to become the prime minister to P.V. Narasimha Rao when he was defeated in Nainital seat in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. He formed Congress (T), the breakaway faction of the Congress, along with veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh in 1995 during the tenure of Rao.
However, he later merged his party with the Congress when Sonia Gandhi took charge of the party. He was a three-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. He was also the Uttarakhand chief minister from 2002-2007.
From 2007 until 2009, he served as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, but was forced to resign following a sex scandal. His son, Rohit Shekhar Tiwari, had joined the BJP in January last year ahead of Assembly elections in Uttarakhand.
Tiwari was born on 18 October 1925 in Nainital and held a law degree from Allahabad University.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of various parties expressed grief over his demise.
“Saddened by the passing away of Shri N.D. Tiwari Ji. A towering leader, he was known for his administrative skills. He will be remembered for his efforts towards industrial growth & working for the progress of UP & Uttarakhand, a state he steered in its initial days," the prime minister tweeted.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh also condoled the demise of Tiwari, describing him as a great leader and an efficient minister.
“His services to the nation as chief ministers of two states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Union minister of external affairs and finance minister and as governor of the state of Andhra Pradesh will always be remembered for a long time to come," he said in a letter to Tiwari’s wife Ujjwala.
Uttarkhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath conveyed their condolences.
Rawat said Tiwari’s death was a “personal loss".
“The void left in Indian politics by his departure, will be very difficult to fill," he said, adding, Tiwari had served as country’s finance minister and foreign minister too.
“Uttarakhand will never forget his contributions," Rawat tweeted. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also condoled the death of the party veteran.
“My deepest condolences on the passing away of veteran Congress leader, Former Union Minister, Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand, Shri N D Tiwari ji," he tweeted.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.