Jaswant Singh, who was from Rajasthan, had served as India's foreign minister, defense minister and finance minister Credit: Facebook

Former Union minister Jaswant Singh, one of the founding members of the BJP and a close associate of ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, passed away on Sunday following a long spell of illness. He was 82.

Singh died at 6:55 am of a cardiac arrest at Delhi’s Army Hospital where he was admitted in June, the hospital said in a statement.

“It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Honourable Major Jaswant Singh (Retired), former Cabinet Minister of government of India at 0655 hours on 27 September 2020. He was admitted on 25 Jun 2020 and being treated for Sepsis with Multiorgan Dysfunction Syndrome and effects of Severe Head Injury old (Optd) had a Cardiac arrest this morning,” a statement from the hospital said.

Tributes started pouring in on Twitter soon after with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he “left a strong mark in the worlds of finance, defence and external affairs” in a tweet.

“Jaswant Singh Ji served our nation diligently, first as a soldier and later during his long association with politics. During Atal Ji’s Government, he handled crucial portfolios and left a strong mark in the worlds of finance, defence and external affairs. Saddened by his demise,” the Prime Minister’s tweet read.

President Ram Nath Kovind offered his deepest condolences, saying, “The demise of veteran soldier, outstanding parliamentarian, exceptional leader and intellectual Shri Jaswant Singh is distressing. He combined many difficult roles with ease and equanimity. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”

Singh, who was from Rajasthan, had served as India’s foreign minister, defense minister and finance minister. He was an officer in the Army in the 1950s and 60s but he later resigned to pursue a career in politics.

Singh’s funeral will take place later today at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, family sources said.

Many on social media, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Congress Minister Shashi Tharoor, among others tweeted condolences.

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