Madhya Pradesh Governor Lal Ji Tandon, who was admitted to a hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow since last month, died this morning, his son Ashutosh Tandon said. Lal Ji Tandon, 85, was admitted to Medanta Hospital in Lucknow on June 11 due to breathing problems and other health issues.
Lal Ji Tandon was the governor of Bihar between August 2018 and July 2019 when he took over as Madhya Pradesh's Governor. In 2009, the senior BJP leader and a protege of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, succeeded him as the Lucknow MP.
He began his career from his hometown Lucknow in the 1970s and had also served as a state minister in Uttar Pradesh several times between 1991 and 2003. His son Ashutosh Tandon, who is also a state minister in Uttar Pradesh, tweeted this morning in Hindi: "Father is no more".
Lal Ji Tandon died at around 5:35 AM at the hospital. The last rites will be performed at 5 this evening in Lucknow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences: "Shri Lalji Tandon will be remembered for his untiring efforts to serve society. He played a key role in strengthening the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. He made a mark as an effective administrator, always giving importance of public welfare. Anguished by his passing away."
Shri Lalji Tandon will be remembered for his untiring efforts to serve society. He played a key role in strengthening the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. He made a mark as an effective administrator, always giving importance of public welfare. Anguished by his passing away. pic.twitter.com/6GeYOb5ApI— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 21, 2020
In a post, Lal Ji Tandon's son also appealed to the people to ensure social distancing while adhering to the government guidelines on coronavirus and "pay their last respects from their homes".
In a medical bulletin, the Medanta Hospital this morning said: "Shri Lal Ji Tandon was admitted at Medanta on June 11. During investigations, he was diagnosed to have chronic liver disease, because of his multiple ailments, he was put on life support system. Team of medical experts made all efforts for his survival, despite all efforts he took his last breath today at 5:35 AM."
Last month, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel took additional charge of Madhya Pradesh after Lal Ji Tandon was admitted to hospital due to breathing problems and other health issues.
Anandiben Patel, former chief minister of Gujarat, was appointed as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh last year. She was the Madhya Pradesh Governor before that.
Condolences poured on Twitter soon after his death.
In a series of tweets, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan wrote: "I pray to god that his soul rests in peace and the family finds the courage at this difficult time."
"While he was the governor, Tandon ji always guided us to take the right path. His love for the country and his contribution towards the development will be remembered for a long time. He will remain alive in our memories," Mr Chouhan said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also condoled Lal Ji Tandon's death on Twitter. "Saddened to hear about the death of Madhya Pradesh Governor. In his death, the nation has lost an able administrator, popular leader and a social worker, He was the soul of Lucknow. May his soul rest in peace," he wrote in Hindi.
Former UP chief minister Mayawati tweeted: "Madhya Pradesh Governor and a former senior minister in previous UP governments, Lal Ji Tandon was a very amicable and cultured person. The news of his death during treatment in Lucknow is extremely saddening. I pay my condolences to his family."