LUCKNOW: With a lump in his throat, Rajveer Singh, son of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, said his father was born for "Jai Shri Ram", a slogan which was heard outside the veteran BJP leader's home on Sunday as people gathered there to pay their last respects.
Singh, who was ailing for some time, died at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI) in Lucknow on Saturday night. He was 89.
To a question that every party worker who came out from the residence chanted 'Jai Shri Ram', Rajveer Singh, who is also the Lok Sabha MP from Etah, said, "His birth was for this (Jai Shri Ram) only. He was committed to Ram Mandir, and he has gone to Ram himself. He would be seeing the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. He has gone to Ram Lalla."
The "Jai Shri Ram" slogan had also once galvanised the BJP in the politically-crucial state in the 1990s. Rajveer Singh also said that his family will dedicate itself for the Ram temple. Uttar Pradesh has announced a three-day mourning and a holiday on Monday when the former chief minister's last rites will be performed.
Kalyan Singh was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister when the Babri mosque was demolished by a mob of "karsevaks" in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Along with BJP veterans LK Advani and M M Joshi, he was among the 32 people acquitted in the demolition case in September last year.
A Lodhi leader, Singh was instrumental in the rise of the BJP to power in Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s. He is survived by his wife Ramvati Devi, son Rajveer Singh, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Etah, and grandson Sandeep Singh, who is the minister of state for finance, technical education and medical education in Uttar Pradesh.