THE veteran BJP leader and former Mayor of Delhi, Shanti Desai who played a key role in the politics of Delhi during the last three decades, passed away at a private hospital in Ahmedabad on May 29. He was 75. He had gone to Ahmedabad to meet his family members where he developed a cardiac arrest. He was cremated at Nigam Bodh Ghat in Delhi on May 30 with full honour. He was a bachelor. His nephew, Raju, performed the last rites.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Shri L.K. Advani, Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, MP, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Shri Yogdhyan Ahuja, Shakuntala Arya, Dr Anita Arya, former Mayors of Delhi also paid their tribute to the departed leader at Nigam Bodh Ghat.
Known as Shanti Bhai among the people, Shanti Desai originally belonged to Ahmedabad. His father was a freedom fighter. Till the year 1975, he was associated with the Congress but later left it with Moraji Desai. The Congress(O) was merged with the Janata Party in 1977 and he was elected a councillor from Khari Baoli during the same year. He also became chairman of the MCD'sEducation Committee. He joined the BJP in 1980 and became Leader of Opposition in MCD in 1983. He was also chairman of Standing Committee from 1997 to 2000 and Mayor from 2000 to 2002. He was vice president of Delhi Pradesh BJP and also its secretary. At present, he was member of BJP'snational council.
Paying tribute to him, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Delhi BJP president said in the death of Shanti Desai a strong pillar of the party is demolished. Describing him as hamdard of poor, Shri Mewaram Arya, senior BJP leader said Delhiites have lost their well wisher. Shri Subhash Arya, Leader of Opposition in MCD also expressed deep grief over the demise of Desai.
Shri Rambabu Sharma, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president described Shanti Desai as an honest, practical and a leader with clean image. Shri Farhad Suri, Mayor of Delhi said he was a man of simple living and high thinking. He said Desai was well aware with the problems of Delhi. Shri Jaikishan Sharma, chairman of Standing Committee, said Desai had a deep pain in his heart for the weaker section of the society.