BJP veteran J P Mathur passes away

via published on October 20, 2007

New Delhi, Oct 20: Jagdish Prasad Mathur, one of the founder members of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jan Sangh and the BJP, died here on Saturday after prolonged illness. He was 86.

Mathur, who was suffering from cancer, breathed his last at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, where he was admitted some days ago after his health worsened.

Considered one of the cleanest politicians, he had a life long association with the RSS since he joined the organisation in 1942.

Former prime minister A B Vajpayee, leader of the opposition L K Advani and BJP president Rajnath singh condoled the death of Mathur, saying the party has lost a strong pillar in his death.

Mathur, a contemporary of BJP stalwarts Vajpayee, Advani and former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, maintained a low profile in politics all his life and remained involved in organisational activities.

Born on November 9, 1921 in Bijnour district of Uttar Pradesh and a bachelor, Mathur began his political career as a Pracharak in the RSS in 1945 and rose to occupy various important posts in the Jan Sangh, including its national secretary.

When the Janata party was formed in 1977, Mathur was named a permanent invitee to its national executive. He later became one of the founders of the BJP when the Janata party split in 1980 on the issue of dual membership.

A two-time MP, Mathur was also the deputy leader of the BJP parliamentary party in Rajya Sabha in 1993 and chief whip in 1990. He was in charge of the party headquarters for a long period.

Before becoming the national vice president of the BJP, he was the party`s national secretary and spokesperson. He had close relations with journalists ever since he headed the party`s media cell.

During emergency, he worked underground and handled the party`s foreign publicity wing.

Condoling Mathur`s death, Vajpayee remembered him as a ideal worker and good colleague.

“He dedicated his life to spread the ideals of the BJP and the Jan Sangh. He was hardworking. His demise has created a void in the party, which would be difficult to fill,” Vajpayee said in a condolence message.

“Mathurji can be considered as a role model for party workers. We lost a righteous and dedicated politician. His death is an irreparable loss to public life and especially to the BJP,” Advani said after paying tributes to the departed soul.

Describing Mathur as an “able organiser and margdarshak”, (guide) BJP president Rajnath Singh said the veteran leader always successfully discharged his duties with a smile even in adverse situations.

A large number of BJP leaders and workers streamed to the party headquarters where Mathur`s body was kept for enabling public to pay their last respects.

His funeral was held at the Lodhi road crematorium in the presence of friends and family members.

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