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Kalyan Singh passes away: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said he was “saddened beyond words" on passing away of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh. “I am saddened beyond words. Kalyan Singh Ji…statesman, veteran administrator, grassroots level leader and great human. He leaves behind an indelible contribution towards the development of Uttar Pradesh. Spoke to his son Shri Rajveer Singh and expressed condolences. Om Shanti," he said on Twitter.

PM Modi further said that future generations will remain forever grateful to Kalyan Singh for his contributions towards India’s cultural regeneration. “He was firmly rooted in Indian values and took pride in our centuries old traditions," the Prime Minister said.

Former Uttar Pradesh CM and former Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh today passed away at Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI) in Lucknow. He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences on the evening of July 4 due to an infection and reduced consciousness levels. Before being shifted to the PGI, the former chief minister was undergoing treatment at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Kalyan Singh was a stalwart of Indian politics, who left an indelible mark on the country and society with his personality and work. “In his demise, I have lost my elder brother and companion. The void created by his death is almost impossible to fill," Singh said. 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the country and the entire BJP family were mourning his death. “This country and future generations will always be indebted for their immense contribution," Shah wrote on Twitter.

Shah said Kalyan Singh raised the voice of the downtrodden in the UP Assembly or the Parliament. “He had been committed to the cause of Ram Janmbhommi. On the day of stone laying for Ram Temple, I spoke to him over the phone and he said his dreams came true," Amit Shah said. 

“It is a matter of great pain that Kalyan Singh is no more among us. As far as BJP is concerned, he has left a big void. It would be impossible to fill this void for a long time. May God give strength to his family members and followers in his hour of grief," Shah added. 

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said they all were saddened by Kalyan Singh's demise. “I pray for his soul. The state will undergo 3 days of mourning," Yogi Adityanath declared while addressing media.

Born on January 5, 1932, Kalyan Singh first became an MLA in 1967. Since then, he won the assembly polls several times, held important posts in the BJP and was appointed Rajasthan Governor in the last phase of his public life.

After his Raj Bhavan term ended in 2019, Singh formally rejoined the BJP as a primary member. 

Back in 1991, he became the first BJP chief minister of the country’s most populous state - Uttar Pradesh. It was during his tenure Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. Taking moral responsibility, he had stepped down from the top post. 

In the next assembly elections held in November 1993, Kalyan Singh contested from two seats — Atrauli and Kasganj — and won both. In that election, the BJP won the highest number of seats, but Samajwadi Party joined hands with Bahujan Samaj Party to form the government under Mulayam Singh Yadav. 

Singh was Leader of the Opposition in the UP Assembly. 

Singh got his second shot at the top post in September 1997, becoming chief minister under a six-month rotation formula with the BSP. The arrangement collapsed soon with the BSP withdrawing support. But, backed by a group of disgruntled opposition members, his government survived. A controversial order by Governor Romesh Bhandari dismissing his government was also stayed by the High Court.

However, a section of BJP MLAs did not like the alleged interference in the state government by Lucknow corporator Kusum Rai, who was also said to control access to the then chief minister. As opposition within the party mounted, Singh was removed from the top post by the party high command in November 1999.

(With inputs from PTI)

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