Jammu- Veteran BJP leader and former union minister Chaman Lal Gupta died after a prolonged illness at his Gandhi Nagar residence here on Tuesday, days after undergoing successful treatment for COVID-19 at a hospital, his family said.
Gupta (87) is survived by his two sons and a daughter.
He had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 5 and returned from Narayana hospital on Sunday after successful treatment. His condition suddenly deteriorated in the wee hours and he breathed his last around 5.10 am, his elder son Anil Gupta told PTI.
Born in Jammu on April 13, 1934, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was not in good health for the last couple of years as he was suffering from various ailments and was hardly seen in public life.
The deceased leader had an illustrious political career spanning over five decades after he became a member of the J&K Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1972. He was again a member of J&K Legislative Assembly between 2008 and 2014.
He was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from Udhampur constituency of Jammu in 1996 and re-elected to 12th and 13th Lok Sabha in 1998 and 1999.
Chaman Lal Gupta was Union Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation between October 13, 1999 and September 1, 2001, Union Minister of State (independent charge), Ministry of Food Processing Industries (September 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002) and Union Minister of State for Defence (July 1, 2002 to 2004).
An author of three books in Hindi and a two-time J&K BJP president, he had completed his MSc from G M Science college Jammu and Allahabad University (UP).
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to Gupta, saying he will be remembered for his numerous community service efforts.
Modi tweeted, “Shri Chaman Lal Gupta Ji will be remembered for numerous community service efforts. He was a dedicated legislator and strengthened the BJP across Jammu and Kashmir. Pained by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this hour of grief. Om Shanti.”
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha also paid rich tributes to the departed leader and said he would be remembered for his immense contribution towards welfare of the people.
Deeply pained to hear about the passing away of former union minister, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta Ji. A seasoned politician & a widely respected public figure, his demise is a great loss to the political sphere, the office of the Lt Governor J&K said in a tweet.
In another tweet, it said he will always be remembered for his immense contribution towards welfare of the people. My condolences to his family and friends.
The BJP, Congress, National Conference and the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party also condoled the demise of Gupta.
“Sorry to hear about the demise of Professor Chaman Lal Gupta ji. Colleagues in the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ministry, we went toe to toe in the J&K assembly between 2009 & 2014. He was a consummate politician who fought for what he believed but did so without being obnoxious or nasty. RIP,” National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
The BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit president Ravinder Raina said Gupta’s demise is a big loss to the union territory in general and the party in particular.
“He was a BJP stalwart and a nationalist by core. His life will always remain a guiding light for the party workers across the country,” Raina said, adding that he had always stood firm in his nationalist belief and remained in the forefront to help the victims of terrorism when it was at its peak in Jammu and Kashmir.
Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also expressed his grief at the demise of Gupta and said he was a senior leader of the BJP who lived a very simple life and served the people of Jammu and Kashmir as MLA, MP and union minister.
“As a union minister he maintained a very good rapport with the people and other political leaders across party lines,” he said.
In his condolence message, Jammu and Kashmir Congress president G A Mir and other senior leaders expressed grief at the passing away of Gupta.
“Gupta played a great role in the political history of the erstwhile state. He represented people in the state legislature several times and played the role of a vibrant opposition besides representing Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha and in the union council of ministers and rendered valuable services in the democratic set up, the party said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party provincial president and former minister Manjit Singh remembered Gupta as a humble and down to earth leader whom the people trusted as their representative.
“Gupta will be remembered for his people friendly approach. He had played a vital role in the politics of J&K,” he said.
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