JAMMU: Veteran BJP leader and former union minister Chaman Lal Gupta died after a prolonged illness at his Gandhi Nagar residence here on Tuesday, days after undergoing successful treatment for Covid-19 at a hospital, his family said.
Gupta (87) is survived by his two sons and a daughter.
“He had tested positive for Covid-19 on May 5 and returned from Narayana hospital on Sunday after successful treatment. His condition suddenly deteriorated in the wee hours and he breathed his last around 5.10 am,” his elder son Anil Gupta told PTI.
Born in Jammu on April 13, 1934, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was not in good health for the last couple of years as he was suffering from various ailments and was hardly seen in public life.
The deceased leader had an illustrious political career spanning over five decades after he became a member of the J&K Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1972. He was again a member of J&K Legislative Assembly between 2008 and 2014.
He was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from Udhampur constituency of Jammu in 1996 and re-elected to 12th and 13th Lok Sabha in 1998 and 1999.
Chaman Lal Gupta was Union Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation between October 13, 1999 and September 1, 2001, Union Minister of State (independent charge), Ministry of Food Processing Industries (September 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002) and Union Minister of State for Defence (July 1, 2002 to 2004).
An author of three books in Hindi and a two-time J&K BJP president, he had completed his MSc from G M Science college Jammu and Allahabad University (UP).
The last rites of the deceased leader would be performed later in the day, his son said.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha paid rich tributes to the departed leader and said he would be remembered for his immense contribution towards welfare of the people.
“Deeply pained to hear about the passing away of former union minister, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta Ji. A seasoned politician & a widely respected public figure, his demise is a great loss to the political sphere,” the office of the Lt Governor J&K said in a tweet.
In another tweet, it said “he will always be remembered for his immense contribution towards welfare of the people. My condolences to his family and friends.”