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Former Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat dead

Saturday, May 15, 2010 05:16:19 PM, PTI

Jaipur: Former Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat died on Saturday, two days after he was admitted to a hospital here complaining of uneasiness and breathing problems.

87-year-old Shekhawat breathed his last at 11.10 a.m. at the Swai Man Singh Hospital, Dr. Narpat Singh, Superintendent of the hospital, said.

Shekhawat’s condition deteriorated this morning and he was put on ventilator, another doctor at the hospital, Ashok Pangaria, told PTI.

The former Vice President was admitted to the ICU of the SMS hospital on the night of May 13 and doctors had said he was suffering from lung and chest infection.

Shekhawat, who was suffering from lung infection, died of cardiac arrest, Dr. Pangaria said.

Born on October 23, 1923, in Khachariyawas, a small village in Sikar district, he was sworn-in as the country’s 12th Vice President on August 19, 2002.

Shekhawat was the only member of the Rajasthan Assembly to have won in every assembly election since 1952, except 1972 when he lost from Gandhi Nagar in Jaipur.

He was also elected to the Rajya Sabha from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh in 1974.

Shekhawat enjoyed the distinction of heading three non—Congress governments in the state in 1977—1980, 1990—1992 and 1993—1998.

His tenure as the chief minister of the desert state was marked by pragmatism as his government launched path—breaking policies.

His brainchild — the Antyodaya scheme to help the poorest of the poor, brought international accolades for Shekhawat with the then World Bank Chief Robert McNamara describing him as the Rockfeller of India.

Funeral of the former Vice President will take place at Jaipur tomorrow, family sources said.

His embalmed body will be kept at his bungalow in the civil lines area to enable people to pay their last respects.

The body of 87-year-old leader will later be taken to the BJP office before cremation at Chandpol ground.

As the news of his death spread this morning, leaders from across the political spectrum rushed to his residence to pay their tributes.




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