ND Tiwari: Four-time Chief Minister Of Congress Dies At 93

ND was an old-school politician with a steely resolve, who neither quit nor got perturbed when greeted with derision.

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ND Tiwari: Four-time Chief Minister Of Congress Dies At 93

Towards the end of his career, ND Tiwari had to contend with a paternity suit.


New Delhi: 

Veteran Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari died on his 93rd birthday on Thursday after a prolonged illness.

A four-time Chief Minister - thrice of Uttar Pradesh and once of Uttarakhand - he also was the foreign minister in Rajiv Gandhi government and held the post of Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

A Congressman all his life, Mr Tiwari had met Amit Shah and other BJP leaders last year when his son Rohit Shekhar -- who had been looking to establish himself politically after being united with his father after a long paternity suit-- joined the party.

A consummate politician and an exemplary administrator, Mr Tiwari was handpicked by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1976 to replace Veer Bahadur Singh as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Mrs Gandhi sprang a surprise on everyone with the choice of Mr Tiwari. Pitched against more illustrious colleagues, such as Rajendra Kumari Bajpai, Mr Tiwari did not stand a chance to lead India's largest state, where the Congress was ruling the roost.

He didn't have to look back.

He was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh thrice: from January 1976 to April 1977, from August 1984 to September 1985 and from June 1988 to December 1988. Mr Tiwari was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980.

He was the deputy chairman of the planning commission and minister holding crucial portfolios, including petroleum, external affairs, finance and commerce in both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi governments.

In 1994, he quit the Congress to form All India Indira Congress (Tiwari) and returned to the party when Sonia Gandhi took up the Congress's reins in 1996.

Like fellow stalwarts of the time - Arjun Singh and Sharad Pawar - ND Tiwari too was at the peak of his political career in 1991, when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. All of them thought P V Narasimha Rao could be a "stopgap" arrangement and one of them would sooner or later replace Mr Rao. But Mr Tiwari lost the 1992 Lok Sabha election from Nainital by margin of around 800 votes.

ND Tiwari cut his political teeth in the freedom movement in 1942 as a student activist, penning anti-British leaflets. He was sent to Nainital jail along with his father Poornand Tiwari, a forest department official who left his job to join the freedom movement.

He was an old-school politician with a steely resolve, who neither quit nor got perturbed when greeted with derision.

Towards the end of his career, when Mr Tiwari was the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, he had to contend with a paternity suit and allegations of sleazy videos.

The 88-year-old stepped down and officially adopted Rohit Shekhar, who fought a long legal battle to be accepted as Mr Tiwari's son. He also married Mr Shekhar's mother Ujjwala Sharma.



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