Kidarnath Sahni is no more
VETERAN BJP leader and former Governor of Sikkim and Goa Kidarnath Sahni passed away in New Delhi on October 3, following illness. He was 85. He was keeping unwell for some time. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
His body was kept for darshan at BJP’s central office, Ashoka Road, on October 4 from 1 pm to 2 pm. Thereafter, it was taken to Lodhi Road cremation ground, where the cremation took place with full honour.
As a mark of respect, the three municipal corporations of Delhi closed their offices for second half on October 4. Beside this, mourning for four days was announced. No official or public function was organised by the corporations during these four days. Delhi Government also declared state mourning for two days. The government offices remained closed on October 4 afternoon as mark of respect to the departed soul.
The news of Sahni’s death created a wave of sorrow among the BJP and Sangh workers. Senior party leaders including Shri LK Advani, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra, national general secretary JP Nadha, secretary Murlidhar Rao, former state president Dr Harsh Vardhan, former Leader of Opposition Prof Jagdish Mukhi, state president Vijendra Gupta and many others rushed to his house for last darshan.
Sahniji was Mayor of undivided Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Chief Executive Councillor (equivalent to chief minister) of Delhi Metropolitan Council. He was also chairman of the standing committee in 1967. He became the CEC in 1977. He also served as Deputy Mayor from April 9, 1959 to April 5, 1960 and later became Mayor from April 10, 1972 to February 28, 1975.
Born on October 24, in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi, Sahniji’s family shifted to India after Partition. He became a Sangh Pracharak in early days. Then he joined the Jan Sangh. He worked hard for the welfare and rehabilitation of the refugees in J&K and his contribution in the progress of the Jan Sangh is historic. During Emergency, he worked underground and went abroad like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in disguise to propagate his stand against the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He was Governor of Sikkim from 2001 to 2002 and then the Governor of Goa from 2002 to 2004. He also served as president of Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party.
Expressing grief, BJP national president Nitin Gadkari described Sahnji a disciplined and dedicated leader who laid the foundation of the Jan Sangh and later the BJP in Delhi. “An honest politician and a successful administrator, Sahniji held various senior positions in RSS, the Jan Sangh and the BJP and also occupied the prestigious posts of the Mayor of Delhi and the Capital’s Chief Executive Councillor,” he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit condoled Sahni’s death and described him as a “simple and straightforward” personality who contributed in giving shape to various policies. She remembered him as an able administrator who possessed an “excellent organising capacity”.
Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra remembered him as an “ideal human being”. He was a pleasing personality and had admirers across the party lines. “My association with him was almost 55 years. I first met him in Jammu in 1944. He was an RSS Pracharak and was called to Delhi in 1954,” he said.
Former RSS Delhi Prant Sanghachalak Shri Ramesh Prakash Sharma described Sahniji as an ideal and dedicated worker, who only thought for the nation and the society throughout his life.
“The organisation as well as national interest was supreme for him. He lived an ideal life. I enjoyed close relations with him for the last three decades. As incharge of J&K BJP, I continued to have guidance from him. His knowledge of the state and also the circumstances prevailed there was unparallel. His work for the rehabilitation of refugees will always be remembered,” said Prof Jagdish Mukhi, BJP incharge of J&K state.
Former Delhi BJP chief Dr Harsh Vardhan said Sahniji was a man who committed his life selflessly for the cause of the society, nation and the ideal. “He will always be remembered by BJP workers as well as swayamsevaks as a leader who always inspired by his simplicity, sincerity and discipline and commitment for the values. Though he was a very polite person, he was also a firm leader. A great visionary and a Pracharak he was a great leader who worked for over six decades of his life overground and underground during the Emergency as well as rest of his life in J&K for preserving the integrity of the nation. For me it is a personal loss,” he added.
Sahniji was also secretary of Bharat Prakashan (Delhi) Ltd. from 1967 to 1971. Later he became Managing Director in 1972. Shri Vijay Kumar, MD, Bharat Prakashan paid tribute to him on behalf of all members of the company.