Bhopal: Veteran BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Sunderlal Patwa passed away in Bhopal on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 92.
Patwa's wife had died a few years back and they had no children. His nephew Surendra Patwa is Minister for Culture and Tourism in the present BJP-led state government.
Patwa suffered a heart attack in the morning and was rushed to hospital where he breathed his last, Bansal Hospital's Executive Director Dr Skand Trivedi said.
Soon after getting information about Patwa's demise, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan rushed to the hospital.
Later, Chouhan condoled the death of the senior BJP leader. In a tweet, he recalled Patwa's life-long contribution for the development of Madhya Pradesh and said his death is an irreparable loss to the state.
Born on 11 November 1924, Patwa served as Madhya Pradesh chief minister twice, first for a brief spell of less than a month in 1980 and later, riding on the Ram Mandir 'wave', he came back to power in March 1990.
However, his second stint on the seat of power was curtailed by imposition of the President's rule in 1992 after the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
He was also elected as the Lok Sabha member from Chhindwara in the 1997 by-poll by defeating Congress strongman Kamal Nath in his home turf. Later, Nath wrested the seat from him in 1998.
In 1999 general elections, Patwa won the Hoshangabad Lok Sabha seat and became a Cabinet-raked minister in the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government at the Centre.
Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon and Chief Minister Raman Singh have offered condolence on the demise of Patwa.
The Chhattisgarh government has also declared three-day mourning as a mark of respect to the veteran BJP leader.
"Patwa was a great friend of mine, who dedicated his life to welfare of poor and deprived ones. He had made an immense contribution for development of state," Governor Tandon said in a statement.
The Governor empathised with the grief-stricken family and prayed for the departed soul. In his message, Chief Minister Raman Singh said "Patwa had occupied several important posts and served the masses with utmost dedication. He launched several welfare schemes for people. With his demise, a golden chapter in the Indian democracy has ended. It is irreparable loss to the state."
The chief minister prayed for peace to the departed soul.
Meanwhile, the state’s General Administration Department issued circular declaring three-day state mourning from 28 to 30 December.
Updated Date: Dec 28, 2016 18:29:38 IST