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Former Jana Sangh president Balraj Madhok dead

In 1951, he was the convener of the first convention of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and was appointed the national Secretary.

Former Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) President, Balraj Madhok, who was among its founders but was expelled later, died on Monday, after being ill for over a month.

Madhok (96) was unwell for some time and had been admitted to AIIMS for a month where he died around 9 AM.

 Born on February 25, 1920, in the undivided Jammu and Kashmir’s Skardu area, Madhok led the BJS to its biggest ever win in 1967 when it won 35 seats in the Lok Sabha. His decline began in the 1970s as Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani  rose in prominence and he was expelled from the party in 1973 on disciplinary grounds.

A leading light of the Jana Sangh, the forerunner of Bhartiya Janata Party, in the 1960s and early 70s, Madhok represented the NCT of Delhi and South Delhi in the 2nd and 4th Lok Sabha in 1961 and 1967 respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his last respects to him and met his family members to condole his death. “Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of a stalwart leader of Jan Sangh Shri Balraj Madhok. Balraj Madhok ji’s ideological commitment was strong & clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation & society. “Had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions. His demise is saddening. Condolences to his family. RIP,” Modi said in earlier tweets.

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Madhok was associated with the RSS before the Jana Sangh was founded and was also the founder Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the pro-Hindutva organisation. In 1951, he was the convener of the first convention of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and was appointed the national Secretary.

In 1966, he was elected as National President of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Madhok’s close associate L K Advani described him as a leader who was fully committed to Jana Sangh’s ideology and principles. “I am deeply grieved to learn about the passing away of Balraj Madhok. I mourn Balraj Madhok’s passing away and offer my heartfelt condolences to his two daughters. May the departed soul rest in peace,” he said in his condolence message. Expressing his condolence, Advani said, “He was fully committed to its (Jana Sangh) ideology and principles. During the Emergency he was detained under MISA for 18 months,” he said.

Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan tweeted, “Balraj Madhok left for heavenly abode today – India loses a great intellectual, thinker and a social reformer. May his soul rest in peace.” (IANS)

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