New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) Former Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister N.D. Tiwari died on Thursday — on his 93rd birthday — at a private hospital in the national capital following prolonged illness, doctors said.
He was treated at Max Hospital, Saket, for several months for complications related to a brain stroke and age-related ailments. He breathed his last at 02:50 p.m.
He is survived by his wife Ujjwala and son Rohit Shekhar.
Tiwari was the only politician to have served as a Chief Minister of two states.
Born on October 18, 1925 in Nainital, he was thrice Chief Minister of the undivided Uttar Pradesh — 1976-77, 1984-85, and 1988-89. He served as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand from 2002 to 2007.
He also served as a Union Minister in the Indira Gandhi government and subsequently in her son Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet, holding key portfolios including finance and external affairs.
Appointed as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh in 2007, Tiwari had to relinquish his post in 2009 over his involvement in a sex scandal.
He became an MLA from the Nainital constituency in the first post-Independence election in 1952. He joined the Congress in 1963 and later quit the party in 1994 to form his own All India Indira Congress (Tiwari). He rejoined the grand old party in 1996.
He also participated in India’s Freedom Movement during 1942-44, undergoing a 15-month incarceration.
In January 2017, he had met BJP President Amit Shah and extended support to the saffron party, but did not formally join it.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi were among a host of political leaders who condoled Tiwari’s death.
Kovind in his message hailed Tiwari’s contribution to the development and public welfare of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
“A towering leader, he was known for his administrative skills. He will be remembered for his efforts towards industrial growth and working for the progress of UP & Uttarakhand, a state he steered in its initial days,” tweeted Modi.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee said: “A colleague in the Congress Party and in the government for decades, he was an able administrator committed to the cause of his people.”
“I have lost a friend and the Nation has lost one of the leaders who was closely associated with Nation Building in the post-Nehruvian era,” added Mukherjee.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also mourned Tiwari’s passing away, and said the country had lost a great leader who will always be remembered for his services as a Chief Minister, Union Minister and Governor.
Gandhi said that Tiwari was an important and illustrious member of the Congress family, who was respected and admired across party lines.
Shah called Tiwari’s death an irreparable loss to Indian politics.