Madan Lal Khurana, one of the stalwarts of the erstwhile Jan Sangh and founder of the Delhi BJP passed away in New Delhi on Saturday after a prolonged illness.
Madan Lal Khurana, aged 83 was known as ‘Dilli ka Sher’ (Lion of Delhi) for his efforts in building the Delhi unit of the BJP and also went on to become the first Chief Minister of Delhi from 1993-96 after its state legislative assembly was reinstated through the 69th Constitution Amendment Act, 1991.
Madan Lal Khurana, born in Faisalabad (formerly Lyallpur) of Pakistan in 1936 started his political journey during his ABVP days while pursuing his post-graduation in Economics. Khurana later became the secretary of the Allahabad Students Union in 1959 and was made the general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in 1960.
Madan Lal Khurana had also worked as the general secretary of the erstwhile Jan Sangh from 1965 to 1967. Khurana is credited to be the man behind BJP’s emergence in National Capital during the 70s and founded the Delhi unit of the Jan Sangh in 1980, which later became the Delhi BJP.
A quintessential grassroots leader, Khurana worked through raising the BJP in the local bodies by dominating the Delhi Corporation politics and held a various position in the Delhi Metropolitan Corporation. After BJP’s humiliating loss in 1984, Khurana is said to have worked tirelessly in reviving the party in the national capital. Khurana then became the first Chief Minister of Delhi in 1993 and held the position until 1996. Along with Kedar Nath Sahani and Vijay Kumar Malhotra, he strived hard for the development of the state unit of the BJP in Delhi.
Khurana then plunged into national politics and got elected to the Parliament four times. He was also the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism in the Vajpayee government in 1998. Khurana had also held gubernatorial offices in the state of Rajasthan in 2004 and later decided to return to Delhi to revive the BJP in the national capital. Madan Lal Khurana was also suspended from the party for his fallout with the senior leader of the BJP LK Advani and for other anti-party activities in 2005.
Khurana is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters. Reportedly, Khurana was suffering a brain haemorrhage since five years and was also suffering from a chest infection from past few days. “He breathed his last at around 11 pm at his Kirti Nagar residence here,” his son Harish Khurana told the media. His last rites would be held today, his family said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolence and tweeted, “Anguished by the passing away of Shri Madan Lal Khurana Ji. He worked tirelessly for the progress of Delhi, particularly towards ensuring better infrastructure. He distinguished himself as a hardworking and people-friendly administrator, both in the Delhi government and Centre”.
Manoj Tiwari, President of the Delhi BJP said that the Khurana’s mortal will be placed in the BJP Delhi State office today for people to pay their last respects.